Heartbreakers


Directed by: David Mirkin
Written by:Robert Dunn, Paul Guay, Stephen Mazur
Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ray Liotta, Jason Lee, Gene Hackman, Anne Bancroft, Jeffrey Jones
Released: July 5, 2001
Grade: C-

Meet Maxine Conners (Weaver) and her daughter Page (Hewitt).  They’re professional con-artists who have taken depravity to a new level.  Their latest target is Dean Cumanno (Liotta), a wealthy “black market” car dealer who has been seduced by Maxine’s charm.  Touting her religious belief that there’s no sex until the wedding, Dean soon pops the question and they’re walking down the aisle.

Behind the scenes, the voluptuous Page has gotten herself a job as Dean’s secretary (but of course Dean doesn’t know she’s Maxine’s daughter).  The day after the wedding, Page makes her move.  Knowing Dean to be a womaniser, she leads him on and sure enough, Maxine walks in and catches the two in a rather uncompromising position (with her hair stuck in Dean’s zipper).

It’s now off to divorce court and Maxine cleans Dean out with a big settlement in her favour.  This is Maxine’s 13th marriage (and 13th scam) and all the money she has accumulated has raised a few eyebrows at the tax office.  Claiming years of back-taxes and penalties, Maxine and Page are left without a dime.

There’s only one way to get back on top and that’s to go for a final big score and the two set forth for Palm Beach.  The prime candidate is William B. Tensy (Hackman), an elderly unmarried billionaire.  Maxine begins her con but behind the scenes, Page is falling for a young bar owner named Jack Withrowe (Lee) who may be worth a couple of million himself.  With all this deceit going on, it’s all a matter of who to trust and a question of who’s working for who.

What an abomination!  Heartbreakers is an appalling film flooded with bad performances and supported by an equally disgusting script.  What pushes the film over the edge is its length.  It’s rare for a comedy to stretch longer than two hours so you can imagine the discomfort I felt during the last half-hour.  If you’ve seen the trailer or the ads, you’ll know how it’s all going to end and if you haven’t, you’ll see it coming anyway.  It’s like having to listen to someone tell a joke for 123 minutes when you know the punchline in the opening minute.

Ray Liotta is the only positive ingredient of the film but it’s a minor role when compared with the rest of the cast.  The sappy and sentimental scenes between Weaver and Hewitt will make you squirm and flinch in horror.  How can people think this is funny?  This is director David Mirkin’s second feature and isn’t an improvement on his first effort, Romy & Rochelle’s High School Reunion, which was lame in its own right.

My own heart was broken after seeing Heartbreakers.  It hurts to see Gene Hackman and Sigourney Weaver lower themselves to this level.  It hurts to see people waiting in line to pay $13 admission to see this film.  It hurts that I’ve wasted an hour of my life in writing this review.  It hurts.  Period.