Review: Small Time Crooks
- Wordpress category:
Woody Allen really seems to be churning them out these days (or else I am losing months of my life). No sooner have "Celebrity" and "Sweet and Lowdown" come and gone than another Allen film, "Small Time Crooks" hits our screens.
This was a very funny film, mainly due to the talented lead actors - Allen himself and Tracey Ullman. Allen is Ray Winkler, a dishwasher who has spent two years in one of those hotels with the bars on the windows for an attempted bank robbery (they were all wearing Ronald Reagan masks so he got confused!). He's married to Francis 'Frenchie' Fox (Ullman), and comes home one day with a foolproof plan to rob another bank. All he needs is $6000 so he and two friends can rent a shop near to the bank and tunnel into the vault.
I won't say how but the co-conspirators come into a lot of money, and the rest of the film focusses on how these ordinary and sometimes downright stupid people deal with their newfound wealth. It's basically an expansion of the old "you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear" saying, but if you'd turn out like the snobby art dealer character (played by Hugh Grant) then who'd want to try changing in the first place.
Allen plays an ordinary guy who just wants some of life's more simple pleasures (cheeseburgers, gambling and a trip to Miami) and this was a refreshing change from the usual paranoid-neurotic character he favours. Also stars Jon "The Critic" Lovitz as the pyromaniac insurance claimee and veteran Elaine Stritch as a socialite.