Sunny Holiday, an aspiring singing star, abandons his wife and young baby to set off on a nine-month tour of bleak western towns. He takes off with his road manager in a pink Chrysler in ...
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Sunny Holiday, an aspiring singing star, abandons his wife and young baby to set off on a nine-month tour of bleak western towns. He takes off with his road manager in a pink Chrysler in search of their own version of the American Dream: a country loving audience.Written by
Sujit R. Varma
Early in the film, one of the characters references the town of Twin Falls. Twin Falls Idaho (1999) was the Polish brothers' first movie. See more »
What I'm talkin' about is the groundwork that no new artist wants to do. We're makin' fans, Sunny, who feel like they discovered you. The power of discovery - that is the advantage, man, that no new artist should overlook.
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Let's hope that the world in which "Jackpot" takes place isn't representative of how the Polish brothers feel about the world the rest of us live in, 'cause Jackpot's world is an utterly inane one; one where attractive but shallow, dim-witted, and ironically, man-hating women inexplicably hop into bed at the drop of a hat with UNattractive, shallow, dim-witted, and ironically, women-hating men like Sunny Holiday (played by the always reliable, but embarrassed-to-be-here Jon Gries). At best, his character merits a five-minute short (maybe a great first-year film-school assignment about a dumb loser who senses he's a dumb loser and hates the fact that maybe he's a dumb loser); not a feature-length treatment. This film simply has nothing to say, as if the Polish's went to a computer that was programmed by a computer, gave it a set of circumstances surrounding a one-dimensional character and instructed it to write a full-length script to fill in the time between the beginning and the end (a computer with no capability of emotion, depth, reality or insight to the circumstances with which it was instructed to depict). It's like they did that, tossed in plenty of mean-spirited, immature, blandly-written chatter disguised as dialogue, found the first actor older than 15 who dared lend their name to the thankless role of Sunny Holiday, grabbed the nearest camera and started shooting. Of course, all that would require effort. *sigh* This film isn't even THAT ambitious.
So who is this Sunny Holiday? Sunny Holiday is an blatantly untalented singer who tries to "make it" in a cluttered profession which requires great talent in order to just survive (and he's trying not for the prospect of actually helping himself or his family, but for the most shallow and tired of reasons, "fame-n-fortune"). He's equipped with a never-ending self-centered and repulsive bitterness towards his efforts, sans any joy or appreciation about what he sees as an ordeal...thank god he wasn't crippled, too; then the Polish's would probably have him just roll on out of his crappy trailer in a wheelchair at the beginning and start shooting passersby...but then there would be no movie...not that there is one here). I got the feeling that the final scene could have been stuck somewhere in the abyss of the middle without notice, illustrating the chief flaw of this film (pretty much a fatal one, considering films are supposed to tell a story): The film doesn't tell a story. Almost every film, even the bad ones, tell some kind of story -- if they didn't, we'd have hundreds of thousands of screenwriters clogging our screens with their random thoughts; a lack of appreciation and regard for the act of Telling A Story...something the Coen brothers could probably pull off in their sleep with none of the self-congradulating, self-indulging lack of audience respect the Polish's display in "Jackpot". Maybe I'm being too harsh on the Polish brothers, maybe they just suffer from the same thing Sunny Holiday and all of us suffer from in some capacity: inability.
But we're not the ones charging 8 bucks to tell people what they already know.
For example: In one scene, when we (and one in a series of hop-into-bed-with-a-stranger-at-the-drop-of-a-hat-for-no-reason-whatsoever waitresses) find out the hard way that Sunny has a pre-mature ejaculation problem, we want to see how this problem affects him and/or the story, but when the next scene (a stock "morning after" scene) soon begins and the two act exactly as they would have without the previous scene, we realize, painfully, that that's about all the Polish's have to say about about pre-mature ejaculation: That it exists. Deep, guys! About this point in the film, I'm beginning to feel a lot like that waitress probably felt after Sunny climaxes on her before they even have their clothes off: used and abused.
"Jackpot" is hundreds of feet of exposed celluloid without a point; not really a "film". In a film, as in any artistic endeavor that requires money for us to behold, ANY point is certainly better than no point. (Even the equally-sour "Kids" had a point, hinted at subtley during the film, but made clearly and soundly at the very end, when it mattered most, rewarding us for sticking around, and sending us to out of the theatre and back to our lives THINKING, not wiping the sleep out of our eyes.)
Most of us can be repulsed and/or bored to death on a daily basis in our own lives absolutely free. So do what Sunny Holiday never did: Stay home and save your money!
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