Max and Page are a mother and daughter con team. Max seduces wealthy men into marrying her, then Page seduces them into infidelity so Max can rake them over the divorce court coals. And then it's on to the next victim. Written by
Greg Bulmash <email@example.com>
Good old-fashioned dirty-minded fun, even when Jennifer Love Hewitt isn't on screen.
Director David Mirkin used to write for "The Simpsons," which explains why Danny Elfman did the main theme for "Heartbreakers" - a movie that, success-wise, has more in common with The Greatest TV Show Ever than with Mirkin's earlier "Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion," and not just because Shawn Colvin makes a guest appearance here as well. Don't get me wrong, it's not nearly as clever - but it IS often as funny. Plus you get to look at Jennifer Love Hewitt a lot.
Mother/daughter grifter duo Sigourney Weaver and JLH are on the verge of splitting up, but agree to do One Last Big Score (isn't it always the way) in order to get out of trouble with the IRS and part sufficiently loaded; Gene Hackman, as a chain-smoking pensionable zillionaire ("His liver spots are positively luminous") is their mark in Palm Beach and also the source of a lot of the fun. In fact, he and an under-used Ray Liotta come close to swiping the film from the leads, but Sig and Love make a good team, each complementing the other - Weaver's the better actress, but Hewitt holds her own; and though the former's attractive, the latter - even in her blonde disguise - is smokin' (something the film never forgets - you get to look at Jennifer Love Hewitt a lot).
The Robert Dunn/Paul Guay/Stephen Mazur script won't win plaudits from the PC brigade; "Heartbreakers" is often a farce in a good sense, but the female characters come off for the most part not as morally upright as their male counterparts (though Hackman's moneybags is by far the most repellent person here). Pacy for sure, and often funny if not always in what the late British DJ Kenny Everett's Cupid Stunt character called "the best possible taste" (witness the oral sex gags early on), there's a distinct slowing down as the tale unfolds and Jen's growing feelings for a potential mark (Jason Lee) makes it more sentimental than cynics would like; the first half of the movie is funnier and edgier than the second. But you get to look at Jennifer Love Hewitt a lot.
In the end, "Heartbreakers" has a tone a bit too much like the likes of "Are You Being Served?" to be a must-view for all; the movie sometimes comes across like a "Carry On" film. Only with a budget. And good performances. And decent writing. And funny. And with a fine soundtrack. Okay, so it's not much like a "Carry On" film, but it does make for a good two hours' watching; Weaver fans will get a particular kick out of her rendition of "Back In The U.S.S.R.", and Hackman fans will enjoy seeing him upstage everyone except for Hewitt's anatomy; I gave this 7 out of 10, but I should have given this an 8 purely on that count. This is one movie that lives up to its title.
And did I mention you get to look at Jennifer Love Hewitt a lot?
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