Drew Barrymore's a Robot

Romcom Plus Poker Does Not Compute



Drew Barrymore is a genius. I'm convinced she retired from acting five years ago and had a very lifelike robot made in her likeness. Now directors can just hire the Drew-bot by the hour, pull the string on her back every time they need an outlandishly saccharine line delivered with a straight face, and are ensured that moviegoers who are drawn to the happy-endings-only genre of romantic comedy will flock.

Make no mistake: I'll admit that I derive no small amount of pleasure from Drew-bot's oeuvre. Indeed, I'm happy to suspend my disbelief, totally buying into leading men who exhibit all the rakish, irresponsible (you mean irresistible!) qualities of wayward masculinity—then become gentlemanly puppies in the relatively non-threatening presence of Drew-bot's fairy dust.

The motorcycle riding, professional gambling, leather wearing puppy-man in Lucky You is Huck Cheever (Eric Bana), whose character comes equipped with a very bad reputation among the ladies of Las Vegas, but who lets Drew-bot get away with—on the first date, before homeboy's gotten any play—dipshitty non-sequitur proclamations like, "You know what I think? I think everyone's just trying not to be lonely."

Luckily for poker fans, Drew-bot's presence and relevance in this film are actually quite minimal and pat, respectively. See, director Curtis Hanson (8 Mile, L.A. Confidential) has used the Drew-bot to trick people: Lucky You isn't a romcom, it's a poker movie. Straight up—60 percent of the film takes place in a poker game. Even the more substantial interactions Cheever has with his father (Robert Duvall) happen over a deck of cards. Drew-bot's just in there as a cheerleader, but she also eradicates the toughness that Lucky You would need to be a good poker movie. Nice poker face, Curtis Hanson—but you still lose.


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