Small Time Crooks
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this movie won't be of much interest to kids, but there's little objectionable material. There is social drinking and a character says, "I'd have a whiskey if I were you" before giving bad news. The main characters in the movie are criminals, and families may want to talk about what makes them believe that this behavior is acceptable.
What's the story?
Woody Allen's lightest comedy in years is a slight story of an unsuccessful crook named Ray (Woody Allen), who comes up with a plan for one big heist. He wants to rent a storefront that is two doors down from a bank and then tunnel underneath to rob the vault. He and his friends are hopelessly incompetent. But it turns out that his wife, Frenchy (Tracey Ullman), makes sensational cookies, and the business they started as a cover for the tunneling turns out to be a huge success. A little abashed at having made more money legitimately than they ever dreamed of stealing, they settle in to enjoy it but find that they have different dreams. He wants to drink beer, eat cheeseburgers, and watch television. She wants to be a patron of the arts and have dinner parties with socialites. But behind her back, the people she invites snicker about her "flawless vulgarity." When she meets a handsome, charming art dealer with an English accent (Hugh Grant), she asks him to teach her about culture.
Is it any good?
SMALL TIME CROOKS has something of a fairy tale quality to it, as when the characters get what they wished for it was not what they had in mind. The small-time crooks learn that when you are rich there are big-time crooks to worry about. And at least some of the characters learn that what matters is the people you love. Ullman and Grant are fun to watch, but the real standout performance is Elaine May as Frenchy's dim-witted cousin.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about Frenchy's comments that "You were a crook so you think everyone is" and "Class is something you can't fake and you can't buy." Who were the worst crooks in the movie?