Palookaville

Palookaville (1996) is a series of cute moments. Vincent Gallo, William Forsythe, and Adam Trese are charming as three friends who bungle the robbing of a jewelry store, then plan a grander crime that's destined to go comically awry because they're clearly out of their league. Their wistful desire to commit robbery is an obvious metaphor: David Epstein's script conveniently varies each character's economic goal—and its link to his relationship with a woman—so we can't fail to see that each man is only trying to romanticize his own life. The attractive lighting and production design can't cover the fact that this well-worn motivation isn't given any new life here. And the canned irony at the end makes you feel like a chump for having watched the whole thing. Directed by Alan Taylor.

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