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Heartbreakers (2001) star star star
Reviewed 2001-10-02: I picked this one up because of the two older stars. Honest. It's the story of Max and Page Conners (Sigourney Weaver, Jennifer Love Hewitt), a mother and adult daughter con team who set up various men to fall for and marry Second Look Reviewthe former and then attempt to cheat with the latter, thus creating a generous divorce package. Using techniques taught to Max by her mentor, Barbara (Anne Bancroft), their latest dupe is Dean Cumanno (Ray Liotta), a chop-shop owner who was so smitten with Max that he never saw the con coming.

When the mother and daughter learn that they've been caught by the IRS for tax evasion, they decide they must make one more big score -- in Palm Beach, Florida. There, Max sets her sights on ailing and wealthy tobacco magnate William B. Tensy (Gene Hackman), but Page encounters handsome, unassuming bar owner Jack Withrowe (Jason Lee), whose establishment sits on valuable property. Of course, this con doesn't turn out as they plan -- in many ways.

I thought Heartbreakers was a good movie, with plenty of sly and slapstick comedy and sex appeal (but no nudity). Roger Ebert points out that Hackman's characterization is based on W.C. Fields. Hewitt hits just the right notes, as she is torn between falling in love with Lee and conning him. Weaver looks great (I don't have to actually say the same about Hewitt do I?) and has the comic timing of the pro she is. Both really liven up the screen with their comic mother-daughter chemistry. Talk about dangerous curves! Even Ray Liotta turns in a surprising performance -- and I was about to write him off as another Keanu Reeves.

Ronald Bruce Meyer is a freelance reviewer.