I Love Slapstick
We’ve all had days when nothing seems to go right. And we’ve experienced other times when fortune seems to smile on us no matter what we do. Just My Luck takes advantage of our familiarity with both situations and, by exaggerating the bad-luck days in very funny slapstick scenes, makes us laugh at two people who fall in love despite -- or perhaps because of -- the catastrophes each must face during different stages of this modern fairy tale/romantic comedy.
Lindsay Lohan (Herbie: Fully Loaded), in her first adult role, and Chris Pine (Princess Diaries 2: Return Engagement) deliver appealing performances as the film’s star-crossed lovers whose lives are changed as the result of a kiss. At the beginning of the movie, Lohan’s character, a vibrant young career woman named Ashley Albright, is living a charmed life. New York taxi drivers stop for her whenever she wants a cab. She always wins something when she scratches a lottery card. She never needs an umbrella because clouds part, the sun comes out and rain stops to let her pass without mussing up her lovely, fashionable self. In contrast, bowling alley custodian/wannabe music mogul Jake Hardin falls off chairs, picks up money with doggie doo-doo on its back, splits his trousers when on an important mission, and … well, you get the picture.
One night these two strangers kiss at a lavish masquerade ball. That kiss transfers Ashley’s good luck to Chris and his bad luck to her. The rest of the film deals with how they find each other again, fall in love, and discover it’s what you do with your luck that counts.
However, forget the ridiculous story. Nothing except Lohan and Pine seems important in Just My Luck. It’s their combined charisma -- and yes, their hilarious slapstick stunts -- that made the movie work for me. Regarding the film’s physical comedy sequences, Lohan says, “You don’t realize how hard it can be until you’re actually there. You’re reading the script and you say, ‘Oh, that’ll be so much fun to do,’ but then you perform the action or stunt, and that’s the hard part.”
I can imagine how hard it must've been for Lohan to operate a huge waxing machine in a bowling alley while wearing spike heels -- one of my favorite shots here. And her frantic battle with over-flowing soap from a washing machine is delightfully reminiscent of I Love Lucy antics.
Pine, who exudes warmth and sensitivity, displays fine comic timing whether his character struggles through bad times or is flush with good luck. He also manages to appear genuine and believable throughout this incredibly farfetched film.
Together, Lohan and Pine project a tender on-screen chemistry in addition to their complementary flair for comedy, and we can’t help wishing the individuals they play all the best. Filmmakers were lucky to pick these perfect co-stars for Just My Luck.
(Released by 20th Century Fox and rated “PG-13” for some brief sexual references.)