"Nothing to Lose" Review
© 1997 Fontaine L.

Okay, so a guy catches his wife in bed with someone, becomes overwhelmed with grief and jealousy and goes out on a limb, does something crazy that he's never done in his whole life. Plus, this guy is the main character in a buddy comedy that doesn't look serious. What do you except? I expected to see him and his buddy eventually do something so outrageous that nobody in the real world would forgive them for doing but they get away with it in the movie world. And the movie would end with a wisecrack and a silly face. Wrong.

I like funny movies that also make me smile. Not laugh, but smile. Well, "Nothing to Lose" did that. For those of you who don't know, that crazy guy I was talking about is Nick Beane, played by Tim Robbins. He's a nice guy, got a beautiful wife, decent job, earns a good living. When he finds out his wife is supposedly cheating on him with his boss, he drives around the city aimlessly. Unfortunately, T. (Terrence), played by Martin Lawrence, chooses this time to rob him at gun point. But noooooo, not Nick Beane. Instead, he takes T on a wild ride in the california deserts. Soon they become partners in crime and Nick decides to return to his workplace and rob his boss (everyone's dream, right?). Now I would have been fairly satisfied if this movie was just funny and entertaining. That's what I've come to expect from these movies. True, this one wasn't a Jim Carrey movie, but it still had moments that made me LMAO. For example, the director's turn as a dance-crazed goofy security guard. Oh, that had me howling. Tim Robbins also takes a nice departure from his more serious roles (in the excellent "The Shawshank Redemption" for example). He shows uncanny ability in comedic performance. I've never seen Martin Lawrence in a motion picture, and I was pleasantly surprised. Besides his goofy facial expressions and wisecracks that he handles so well, there are some scenes in this movie that requires some emotional grief, and he does quite well in that area too. I am, however, quite tired of Kelly Preston ("Jerry Maguire," "Addicted to Love") in all her "bitch" roles. She needs a larger variety of roles to get anywhere beyond the Mrs. Travolta status.

The plot wasn't particularly ingenious, but as I said it had a nice ending that lifted my spirits. Sorry for you cynics out there, but I have a soft spot for movies that make me feel good. Whoever wrote this wrote this (sorry again for not knowing who did :P) kept it at a nice pace, inserting just enough funny moments and plot turns to keep this movie going. Also kudos for the creative opening scene and opening sequence. I half expected to hear goofy, upbeat music, but I was glad when I had a nice, quiet, but ultimately amusing opening scene. Speaking of music, I really liked the songs they chose in the movie--partly because I am familiar with them, and partly because they edited it nicely to fit with the movie's scenes. For example, the music stops when Nick stops his car to let T, um, take care of business on the desert roadside. That part, IMHO, was ingenious. A nice rounded ending was the conclusion to this movie, with everyone living happily ever after. And T, once a thief, now gets a job at Nick's company! (from--surprise!--Born-Again-Nick's efforts) Turns out he's really a decent, certified engineer that was desperate for money to support his family--a lovely wife, two adorable kids, and a mother who slaps people. I liked this ending, because it was different from what I expected--I expected that Nick and T would get away with whatever they did, and continue on the road with their slapstick. As I said, I'm a sucker for warm fuzzy endings. What more does a movie need when it gives you good laughs and makes ya feel good all over?

"I'll see you when you get there, see you when you get there. . . "

Rating: B+ (First viewing, 7/23/97)