Combustible Celluloid
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With: Sigourney Weaver, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ray Liotta, Jason Lee, Anne Bancroft, Jeffrey Jones, Gene Hackman, Nora Dunn, Julio Oscar Mechoso, Ricky Jay, Sarah Silverman, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Hitchcock, Gonzo Raymond, Carrie Fisher, Jack Shearer, Steve Mellor, Janni Brenn, Kevin Nealon, Shawn Colvin
Written by: Robert Dunn, Paul Guay, Stephen Mazur
Directed by: David Mirkin
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sex-related content including dialogue
Running Time: 123
Date: 03/23/2001

Heartbreakers (2001)

3 Stars (out of 4)

The Play Divorcees

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Magically, this 123-minute con-man comedy floats along like a Miami Beach breeze and never wears out its welcome. Sigourney Weaver and Jennifer Love Hewitt play a mother-daughter team; the mother gets married and the daughter sexually temps the newly-married man, bringing on a quickie divorce and a large settlement. Ray Liotta plays the movie's first victim, and Gene Hackman turns up in a brilliant comic performance as the latest victim, a millionaire bachelor on his last legs (you'll never smoke again after you witness Hackman's nasty coughing fits). Jason Lee plays a contented bar owner who captures Hewitt's affections for real. Director David Mirkin (Romy and Michele's High School Reunion and episodes of The Simpsons) keeps the humor wicked, keeps the rhythm going, and refuses to cave in to sentimentality or overt slapstick. Weaver and Hewitt are both marvelous and manage to exude sensuality even while withholding it (though one wonders how much farther they would get by giving in). And Liotta turns his usual creepy-guy character into a workable comic persona. Anne Bancroft, Jeffrey Jones, and Nora Dunn also appear in funny roles.

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