Main cast: Sigourney Weaver (Maxine Conners), Jennifer Love Hewitt (Page Conners), Ray Liotta (Dean Cummano), Jason Lee (Jack Withrowe), and Gene Hackman (William B Tensy)
Director: David Mirkin
The watchability of Heartbreakers seems to degenerate with the increasing amount of cleavage Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Love Hewitt display as the movie progresses. Men, sit ye on your seats and drool. If David Mirkin is lucky, nobody male will notice how men are depicted as morons led by their little winkies in this movie.
Sigourney Weaver plays Maxine, grifter, and Ms Hewitt her daughter Page. Fresh from a con involving poor deluded shady guy Dean, our two ladies fall prey to the biggest grifter of them all – the IRS. With a horrendous amount of money they must cough up with (or it’s the pokey for them), our squabbling mom-daughter team has to pull one last con before going separate ways. Target? Aging geezer and very wealthy William B Tensy.
Our ladies’ plan always revolves around Maxine seducing and marrying Tensy and then, in comes Page to “seduce” the old coot. Mom will catch them in action, and whoopee, it’s easy divorce and lucrative court settlement for everybody. It worked on Dean, so there’s no problem working on the old coot, right?
Except that Dean wants Maxine back. Yes, he’s madly in love, with Ray Liotta poking fun very effectively at all those psycho/mob/gangster roles he is typecasted in in his career. And Page feels that she is grown up now, and she wants to strike out on her own. Her mark? Restaurant owner Jack Withrowe, who is sitting on a three million dollars worth of land. Alas, them hormones keep getting in her way.
There are many plot twists in this movie, especially since William Tensy is not that easy to get (gullible and horny, yes, but easy, not really). But Heartbreakers is not as funny as it believes itself to be. There are some hilarious moments, like Ms Weaver’s awful rendition of something called Back in the USSR and the silly hijinks involving an overly endowed statue.
But where this movie fumbles is Page’s love story with Jack. It’s not Ms Hewitt’s fault, really, as her role is written in such a way that she comes off a completely spoiled, rotten, whiny bitch whom I doubt any sane man would even want to spend time with, much less propose to. It’s nice to see Jason Lee playing a great romantic dude, but really, pair Jack with Page’s moody rampages and we get another dumb – if charming – man who is led around by his Mr Winkie. Maxine and Dean’s love story fares slightly better, maybe because both characters are written better than Jack and Page’s characters.
Still, at the end of the day, Heartbreakers is all about the jugs and legs and none of the brain cells.