The story is simple: There's no real plot or central character -- aside from a $20 that makes it way from a random pickup across several days and dozens of handlers. From a homeless woman (Linda Hunt) intent on buying a lottery ticket with it to the G-string of a stripper (Melora Walters) to a pair of thieves (Christopher Lloyd and Steve Buscemi) to many more characters normal and exotic, the bill gets filthier and filthier until its ultimate demise (and rebirth, back in the hands of Hunt's street urchin).
The bill makes repeat visits to a couple of characters -- drawing them closer from different worlds. Brendan Fraser is on the verge of marriage to a Middle Eastern girl who he may not be right for. Elisabeth Shue is a waitress/struggling writer on the outs with her family -- whose dad dies during a Bingo game. Eventually Fraser and Shue are brought together -- through the mysterious power of U.S. currency!
This kind of movie has been made before (Short Cuts is another variation), but Bucks is one of the best of the lot. It's tough to bouunce from character to character and make them remain memorable, and the way the film blends humor and drama make it endearing and engaging. At just 85 minutes long, it never gets boring. Silly, yes. Boring, no.
Best of all, Twenty Bucks answers the nagging question of what happens to your money before and after its time in your pocket. Unassuming and cute, it's a quaint but fun little picture.
The DVD includes two commentary tracks and two featurettes.
Run time: 91 mins
In Theaters: Friday 22nd October 1993
Distributed by: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 75%
Fresh: 6 Rotten: 2
IMDB: 6.4 / 10
Director: Keva Rosenfeld
Producer: Karen Murphy
Starring: Linda Hunt as Angeline, Brendan Fraser as Sam Mastrewski, Shohreh Aghdashloo as Ghada Holiday, Melora Walters as The Stripper / Funeral Director, Elisabeth Shue as Emily Adams, Steve Buscemi as Frank, Christopher Lloyd as Jimmy, Jeremy Piven as Nervous Quick-Mart Clerk, William H. Macy as Property Clerk, David Schwimmer as Neil Campbell, Matt Frewer as Receding Bingo Winner, Nina Siemaszko as Bank Teller
Also starring: David Rasche, George Morfogen, Sam Jenkins, Bubba Baker, Rosemary Murphy, Concetta Tomei, David Fresco, Noah Margetts, Gladys Knight, Willie Marlett, Amber Wilson, Kamau Holloway, Valente Rodriguez, Vanessa Marquez, Kevin Kilner, William H Macy, Diane Baker, Alan North, Adam Ryen, Ned Bellamy, Spalding Gray, Karen Murphy, Endre Bohem, Leslie Bohem