Paul Newman was truly one of the greats and this movie definitely highlights why. Directed by Marek Kanievska, Where The Money Is was based on a story by E. Max Frye. It is a comedy-drama film that got lost in the shuffle of the year 2000. It was distributed USA Films, now known as Focus Features.
Carol Ann McKay (Linda Fiorentino) is a nurse working for an Oregon nursing home while living a somewhat routine life with her husband Wayne (Dermot Mulroney). The home gets a transfer patient, convicted thief Henry Manning (Paul Newman) arrives after suffering a massive stroke and appears to be partially brain-damaged. However, after Carol witnesses some weird things, she starts to believe Manning is actually alive and may have a stash of cash hidden from one of his heists. After throwing him a pier, Henry angrily confronts them, but Wayne and Carol agree to keep his secret. Carol then decides to score big with a heist so she and Wayne can escape their smalltown life. At first, Henry refuses, but after some convincing he and Carol begin to plan a big theft.
This film was a breath of fresh air. In a time when every feature tries to be a blockbuster, this is a simple story with very few characters, but it is a movie that flows with ease, a smoothness, and does not try to overextend itself. It is well-paced, clever, and has interesting characters who are developed in an excellent way.
Linda Fiorentino and Dermot Mulroney are both good in their individual roles. I will say, their marriage did not have a lot of chemistry, though they are portraying a couple that has become stale. The true talent lies with Paul Newman. He is funny and hilarious. His charm and talent as an actor is unmatched, especially with this style of movie.
Marek Kanievska did an excellent job of bringing the story together. There a few subplots that serve to extend the running time, but they are fun and add some great transitions from scene-to-scene. It is no wonder. Ridley Scott was a co-producer and he usually does his films with excellence. For some reason, the movie did resonate with critics or audiences, but I found it enjoyable.
Bottom line, Where The Money Is is a hilarious film and a good break from the bluster of the box office. Paul Newman shines and truly brings the movie to a hilarious climax.
PARENTAL CONCERNS: Minor violence, Foul language, Some sexual content
FAVORITE QUOTE: Honey, I’m playing brain dead, not brain-damaged.
I could not find a movie trailer, but I did find a teaser for the VHS release. Check it out below:
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