Small Time Crooks | Chicago Reader

Small Time Crooks

This isn't Woody Allen at his nadir (cf A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy, September, Shadows and Fog, and Celebrity), but there are moments when this comedy threatens to die of anemia. Featuring Allen and Tracey Ullman as a whiny working-class couple who decide to rob a bank, it starts off, like most Allen pictures, by emulating a European art-house picture of his youth—in this case Big Deal on Madonna Street (a much funnier picture about a failed bank heist). After Ullman's flair for baking cookies unexpectedly makes the couple rich, Allen falls into one of his most tired story ideas, the vulgar nouveau riche heroine who tries to buy her way to culture—represented in this movie, to show you how desperate things are, by Hugh Grant. The others in the cast have a better time; Elaine May as Ullman's cousin is especially funny. With Michael Rapaport, Tony Darrow, George Grizzard, Jon Lovitz, and Elaine Stritch. 94 min.

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