Really good comedy is hard to find; and guess what: it still is. The Coen Brothers new heist movie “Gambit” tries, and at times delivers; but it still falls a bit short.
The movie is a remake from the 1966 fake art swindle scheme starring Michael Caine and Shirley Maclaine. Harry Deane (Colin Firth) is an art expert who has to deal with his overbearing, arrogant boss Lionel Shabandar (Alan Rickman). When Harry has finally had enough he conspires with his forging partner (Tom Courtenay) to rip his boss off by creating a false Monet, and then recruits a rodeo-riding Texan by the name of P.J. Puznowski (Cameron Diaz) to sell it. The premise being that Puznowski has the Monet hanging in her trailer somewhere in Texas and now wants to sell it. Apparently some Japanese businessmen are also after the Monet, in order to show that competition exist for Shabandar.
Now don’t get me wrong: This is not bad comedy. Colin Firth is almost Peter Sellers-like, with his square box glasses and impish antics; Alan Rickman is downright hilarious; and competing art expert (Stanley Tucci) will have you on the floor. Cameron Diaz though, brings the movie down. She is not funny and her part is just stupid (even for a Coen brother’s movie). Does Diaz really look like rodeo roper. The weakness in the movie is not her fault; it’s just bad casting. Anyway, you will get some genuine laughs out of movie which is pretty much a rarity in modern day comedy. That is, unless you think those Las Vegas movies are funny ─ in which case they may have to take you away in a strait jacket. Rent it, but I hope that you did not pay value buck at the big screen for it.
My Rating: 2 and a half Maniacal Monets.