Retro Review: Heartbreakers

What do you get when you take the hilarious comedy classic, “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” and place women in the lead roles instead of men. You get Heartbreakers!!

Sigourney Weaver, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ray Liotta, Jason Lee and Gene Hackman star in Heartbreakers.

Hewitt and Weaver are a mother-daughter team of con-artists who love to pick reluctant men clean after they get them to do a quickie marriage.

Their con is working brilliantly but the daughter has a desire to break out on her own.

So when the IRS comes calling they vow to have one last gigantic con so that mom can retire and the daughter can go on her own.

Their last con is a disgusting millionaire (Hackman) who loves to smoke but they are sure he will drop dead right after the nuptials.

Will they pull off the con? Will a previous husband come after them? What about an unscheduled love affair? See Heartbreakers and find out.

This film, originally entitled “Breakers”, has been bouncing around at MGM since 1996, and was going to star Angelica Huston and Alicia Silverstone.

Now in its third incarnation, we are beautifully blessed. “Heartbreakers” is indeed the funniest movie this year, so far. Its quick wit and charming cast will tickle your funny bones really allowing you to enjoy yourself.

I am not a big Sigourney Weaver fan but here she reminded a lot of the time she spent in the “Ghostbusters” films. She had great comedic timing in those films and here she shows it even more. I remember her sultry performance after she becomes possessed. Those scenes with Bill Murray were a riot and it was that kind of sauciness that makes her really work her character here. I am not sure if Angelica Huston could have pulled that off if they stuck with the original castings.

This also has to be one of Jennifer Love Hewitt’s best roles. Like her other films, she has her romantic interest and wears a lot of tight outfits accenting her youth. But in this film, she shows that she does have some comedic timing buried inside her. As for Silverstone playing this role, she would have been great because Alicia is a lot better actress than Hewitt any day of the week. But Hewitt still works very well in this role.

Jason Lee plays Hewitt’s love interest and he is just your typical nice guy.

This is a shame since he is often a scene-stealer and really hilarious.

In this film, his character echoes the character he played in the film “Mumford” but doesn’t nearly have the amount of one-liners he had in that film.

My two favorite performances were from Liotta and Hackman who were the slimiest and biggest scoundrels of the film. I loved how they made Hackman look and act so disgusting which really made the women doubt if they could pull off the con. He was awesome.

As for Liotta, he brings his slimy mobster persona to his role here but will often make fun of it and keep us on edge. Liotta burns a lot of people the wrong way but here he might just make you laugh.

The film would have been very interesting with the original leading ladies from 1996 but it’s kind of a toss up if the film would have been better.

It’s always interesting to think of these things.

I liked how the film pays homage to another classic con-artist comedy “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” by allowing the con to slowly materialize and by having cons within cons.

These elements always make for an interesting plot twist and revelation.

It’s always hilarious to see characters out of their element and be unaware that a con could be going on.

(4 out of 5)

So Says the Soothsayer.

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