Where The Money Is (2000) – movie review

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Movie Review by Lisa Henshall

Starring: Paul Newman, Linda Fiorentino, Dermot Mulrooney

Director: Marek Kanievska

Wayne (Dermot Mulrooney) and Carol (Linda Fiorentino) are the prom king and queen who got married, and never left the town they grew up in. Wayne is very happy with his lot in life, but Carol (who works in the local old people’s home) craves some excitement and dreams of leaving their sleepy little town.

Enter Henry (Paul Newman), who appears to be confined to a wheel chair having suffered a major stroke 2 years earlier. He is being temporarily housed at the old people’s home because the nearby prison hospital is full, and he is not considered a threat. But a look through his personal file shows that Henry was an extremely successful bank robber, until his capture only a few years before. Carol becomes convinced that he is faking the stroke in order to complete an elaborate escape plan. Believing that helping him could be the answer to her dreams of her own escape, she embarks on a crazy plan to encourage him out of his vegetative state and teach her the tricks of the trade.

For those of you who missed this little gem of a film on its UK cinema release last October (and you can be forgiven as it only lasted about 2 weeks), don’t under any circumstances miss it on its video release. This is one of last year’s most original comedies and has a fantastic cast, with special honours going to Fiorentino who is excellent as the feisty leading lady, and more importantly to Newman who is still incredibly cool even though he’s now well past retirement age. In fact, this will be Newman’s last film as he has finally chosen to retire permanently from acting. The script is clever and funny without being pretentious, the direction from Kanievska is tight (he previously directed such diverse films as cocaine filled “Less Than Zero” and gay/public school drama “Another Country”) and keeps you on your toes throughout with a really brilliant finale. The soundtrack is peppered with lots of foot-tapping tunes belting out in all the right places. All in all this is a fantastic film and well worth seeing if you can.

5 out of 6 stars