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It Could Happen to You (1994)

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A police officer promises to share his lottery ticket with a waitress in lieu of a tip.

Director:

Andrew Bergman

Writer:

Jane Anderson

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nicolas Cage ... Charlie Lang
Bridget Fonda ... Yvonne Biasi
Rosie Perez ... Muriel Lang
Wendell Pierce ... Bo Williams
Isaac Hayes ... Angel Dupree
Víctor Rojas ... Jesu
Seymour Cassel ... Jack Gross
Stanley Tucci ... Eddie Biasi
J.E. Freeman ... Sal Bontempo
Red Buttons ... Walter Zakuto
Richard Jenkins ... C. Vernon Hale
Robert Dorfman Robert Dorfman ... Walter
Charles Busch ... Timothy
Beatrice Winde Beatrice Winde ... Judge
Ginny Yang Ginny Yang ... Mrs. Sun
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Storyline

Charlie and Muriel Lang have led simple lives for most of their existence. That's until they win $4 million on the lottery. There is a problem, however. Prior to winning the lottery, Charlie had eaten at a café and hadn't been able to tip the waitress. He had promised her, jokingly, that if he won the lottery he'd give her half of it. This is why his wife, Muriel, decides to leave him. She doesn't want the waitress to get a cent of their money. In fact, she wants all $4 million for herself. Written by Michael Feller <reb@magna.com.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's not about money. It's about life. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild language and a scene of cop action | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

29 July 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cop Gives Waitress $2 Million Tip! See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,112,822, 31 July 1994

Gross USA:

$37,939,757

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$37,939,757
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

TriStar Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | SDDS | Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

For some reason, the movie's French title happens to be "Milliardaire malgré lui", which could roughly translate as "The Accidental Billionaire", "The Unwilling Billionaire" or even more literally "A Billionaire In Spite of Himself"... which is weird because Charlie's winning lottery ticket makes him a millionaire, not a billionaire. See more »

Goofs

When Yvonne files for bankruptcy in the beginning, she files in New York Civil Court. People file for bankruptcy in United States Bankruptcy Court which is a federal court. Civil Court where she filed is a state court. Bankruptcy is governed by federal laws, and therefore bankruptcy cases would be heard in federal as opposed to state court. See more »

Quotes

Muriel Lang: One bedroom in Queens is not my idea of living.
Charlie Lang: One bedroom in Queens is fine. If we had kids... if we had kids, that'd be another story.
Muriel Lang: We don't have the money to have kids.
Charlie Lang: Of course we have the money to have kids. Cops have kids. Firemen have kids. If only rich people had kids, there wouldn't be public schools.
See more »

Crazy Credits

This film was inspired by the generosity of detective Robert Cunningham (ret.) and his wife, Gina. Mr. and Mrs. Cunningham have been happily married for 31 years. The waitress and her husband have been happily married for 37 years. See more »

Connections

Features Designing Women (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Come See About Me
Written by Brian Holland, Eddie Holland (as Edward Holland) & Lamont Dozier
Performed by The Supremes
Courtesy of Motown Record Company L.P.
By arrangement with PolyGram Special Markets
See more »

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User Reviews

 
This is how a modern romantic comedy should look like
26 February 2006 | by floydianerSee all my reviews

If you judge "It Could Happen to you" by its amount of realistic situations and characters, you'll probably give it a 4 out of 10. But, who cares about realism here? It's like a modern fairy tale, Frank Capra transported into the 90s. There's a wonderful storyline (Cop gives waitress a 2 million dollar tip), which apparently is even based on real-life events. Nicolas Cage plays the most honest cop imaginable, and he proves he can play a romantic lead role just as well as a dramatic action/thriller one. His character is not exactly 100 percent realistic, but that's not a problem, this is Hollywood for heaven's sake.

Even better than Cage is his female leading lady: the fascinating Bridget Fonda. Fonda is a wonderful actress who can play both a cute character like her waitress Yvonne here and more challenging roles like the LadyMacBeth-similar one in "A Simple Plan". Unfortunately she never had the career of a Julia Roberts but she is in fact more talented and better looking. Throughout the whole movie she gives a good performance and looks gorgeous. If I had the choice of giving a waitress the lottery money or not and the woman looked like Fonda I might even give it to her. Of course there aren't so many waitresses out there that look (and behave) as charming as her and chances are low I'll ever win two millions in the lottery.

Also notable is the wonderful chemistry between Cage and Fonda. As for the supporting roles special mention has to go to Perez. Although you wonder why Cage married her in the first place, she gives a humorous and entertaining performance. Of course there's kitsch but that's not necessarily bad. Good kitsch can be wonderful and this film, that has an absolutely great happy ending, serves as a perfect example of how a romantic comedy should be filmed. It's better than "Pretty Woman".


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