Where the Money Is Movie Review

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At more than one point in his career, Paul Newman has been the ultimate con man. The Sting, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Cool Hand Luke, The Hustler, and The Color of Money all epitomized this master of smooth talk and wily ways. But the successes of all of his past films and all of their cons have one common denominator: a memorable and talented supporting cast. In The Hustler, Jackie Gleason played Minnesota Fats, who proved to be a worthy nemesis by outsmarting the cocky and more talented Newman. Tom Cruise, in The Color of Money, was like an apprentice learning from the master sorcerer, as Newman molded Cruise into an effigy of his old self. While Newman always emerged the star, he would continually share the spotlight, so that none of those movies became one-dimensional.

Newman's latest film, Where the Money Is, directed by Marek Kanievska (Less Than Zero), unfortunately lacks the supporting cast for Newman to thrive as the luminary "hustler." In the film, Newman plays Henry Manning, a former bank robber who plans to break out of prison by faking a stroke. When he is transferred to a minimum-security nursing home, he thinks he's home free. However, the woman assigned to take care of him, Carol Ann McKay (Linda Fiorentino - Men in Black) suspects that he's a fake and attempts to lure him out of his trance so he will help her in a burglary with her and her husband Wayne (Dermot Mulroney - Copycat, My Best Friend's Wedding). She goes to some outrageous lengths to keep him from playing possum, but when she finally awakes the bank robbing legend, she faces a challenge that could change her life.

Nothing against Linda Fiorentino, who does a fine job in this movie, but she has no extraordinary talents that allow her to become a stand-out criminal worthy of Newman's tutelage. Also, her husband Wayne proves to be a clumsy ox despite his prowess on the football field and the "cool head" that his wife constantly brags about. As Newman states in one of his first lines, "It's amateur hour," and unfortunately this is the sad truth for this movie.

Though the far-fetched plot and lack of support diminish Newman's shining star, the movie isn't a complete failure. It offers some good laughs and a few vintage Newman moments, like his dance with Fiorentino, where he manages to change her life in one song and a two-step.

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Where the Money Is Rating

" OK "

Rating: PG-13, 2000

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