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Heartbreakers (A Movie Review)

Updated: Jul 29, 2023



Starring Sigourney Weaver, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Gene Hackman, Ray Liotta, Jason Lee, Jeffrey Jones, Nora Dunn, Anne Bancroft, Julio Oscar Machoso, Ricky Jay, Shawn Colvin, Carrie Fisher, Kevin Nealon and Elya Baskin.

Screenplay by Robert Dunn, Paul Guay and Stephen Mazur.

Directed by David Mirkin.

Distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures.  123 minutes.   Rated PG-13.

Heartbreakers seems to have been inspired by many clever con-artist films over the last few decades. Specifically, though, it seems to want to be the fantastic 1988 Steve Martin-Michael Caine comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. And while Heartbreakers is nowhere near as good as that film, the real surprise is how good it as anyway.

Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Love Hewitt play two incredibly hardened con artists whose scam is simple. Mom marries a rich man and withholds her favors, then the sexy daughter comes on to the man so that when he responds to her, Weaver will have grounds for divorce. The hard-boiled mother/daughter duo are surprisingly funny, as are their patsies, played by Ray Liotta in a funny riff on his goodfellow stereotype, and Gene Hackman as the most repugnant tobacco tycoon ever.

Unfortunately, the film gives up its hardened cynical edge when Jennifer Love Hewitt falls in love with poor bartender Jason Lee and gives up her evil ways. This pulled punch doesn’t ruin the clever callous humor that preceded it, but it does tend to soften the blow. (3/01)

Jay S. Jacobs

Copyright ©2001 All rights reserved. Posted: March 31, 2001.

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