It Could Happen to You Movie Review – A Wonderful Film About Luck and Love

It Could Happen to You is a very sweet romantic comedy from 1994. It shares the story of how a little lottery ticket can change a person's life. Or three people! This Andrew Bergman production is well-thought-out, has an amazing cast, and is a more light-hearted movie in comparison with other gambling-themed titles. Read our dedicated It Could Happen to You movie review to learn more.

In the following article, we will briefly explain the plot of the movie, without spoiling it too much for you. We will talk a little about the It Could Happen to You cast and the reviews from fellow viewers. We’re also going to discuss the gambling aspect of the movie and how it is portrayed throughout the different scenes. As a bonus, we’ve included a small paragraph about where you can watch the film.

It Could Happen to You Movie Plot

As mentioned, the It Could Happen to You film is fun, romantic and is not so intense as typical gambling movies like Focus or The Hustler. Andrew Bergman and Jane Anderson have done a great job creating such an interesting story about a couple, a waitress, and a lottery ticket. Here is how the plot goes:

Charlie Lang (Nicolas Cage) is an NYPD officer that works and lives in Queens, New York. He is very generous and kind and loves his job. He lives in a small apartment with his wife Muriel (Rosie Perez), who is the opposite of Charlie. She works in a hair salon; she is greedy, and money is all that is on her mind. After an argument with his wife, Charlie buys a lottery ticket the next day, but he changes one of the numbers that Muriel told him to play with.

Yvonne Biasi (Bridget Fonda) is a waitress at the local diner and is bankrupt because of her husband. She cannot afford to divorce him because he took everything from their joint account, leaving Yvonne with a huge debt.

Interesting fact:
The film was re-made two times. The first being in Hindi as Bade Dilwala, released in 1999. The second time, the movie was re-made in Telugu as Bahumati in 2007.

Yvonne waits on Charlie one day, and he has no money to tip her. He promises that he will either give her a double tip next time or give her half of the prospective lottery winnings with the ticket he just bought. Later that night, the Lang family wins $4 million, but Muriel refuses to share the prize with a stranger. Charlie’s kind and honest heart could not lie to the waitress from the diner. On the next day, the good cop goes back to the diner and, after Yvonne shares her story, he tells her the good news.

As you can probably guess, everything changes for the three characters. There is love in the air, but there is also betrayal and greed. It might sound predictable, but you will like it – the plot is well-thought and exciting, with a sweet sense of humor. We’re positive you’re going to enjoy the It Could Happen to You 1994 film.

It Could Happen to You 1994 – Ratings and Cast

The It Could Happen to You movie is a straightforward romantic comedy-drama that probably wouldn’t spark your interest at first. It is a love story with a few twists and turns that will make you love the characters (or hate them) even more.

The It Could Happen to You cast is spot on! Who would have guessed that Nicolas Cage would fit so well in the role of a good and honest cop? Rosie Perez in the role of Muriel is fantastic; it makes you hate the character of the greedy money-loving wife and feel more for the poor Charlie.

As for Bridget Fonda as Yvonne – she is such a sweetheart with so much fate in people and life. Despite the bad luck, she is smiling and helping those in need, even in the darkest hour. The love between Charlie and Yvonne is pure and innocent. Some viewers describe it as too predictable, even cheesy. But most fans of the It Could Happen to You movie are head over heels for the lovely couple.

We cannot miss mentioning Isaac Hayes, who played Angel Dupree in the movie. Splendid work! The way he narrates the movie makes you want to watch more. He steals the scene with his smirk and his mysterious personality. And the end of the movie, when he reveals himself, makes the whole hour and a half film even better.

💹 IMDB Rating 6.4/10
🍅 Rotten Tomatoes Rating 71%
📼 Amazon Rating 4.5/5
🖥️ Google Rating 89%
📽️ Released 29 July, 1994
🎞️ Box Office $37, 939, 757
📕 Genre Comedy, Drama, Romance
🎬 Director Andrew Bergman
🤨 Screenplay Jane Anderson
⭐ Stars Nicolas Cage, Bridget Fonda, Rosie Perez
⌚ Running Time 1h 41min

The fine line between pure love and greed is well-presented in the movie in a perfect balance. The following events after the lottery win lead us to the moral of the story – money cannot buy love and true happiness. And, even if you have nothing in your pocket, but you have a good heart and hope, everything will turn out for the better.

Another interesting thing to learn from the It Could Happen to You 1994 film is that chance is a big factor, even in such a simple gambling activity as the lottery. It is curious to see how one simple number can change your life and show you who really loves you and who is with you for the cash.

It Could Happen to You True Story

Is the It Could Happen to You Film a True Story?

At the beginning of the movie (no more spoilers, we promise), the narrator mentions that the story is true. While the It Could Happen to You film is fictional, it is, in fact, inspired by a real-life event. In 1984, Phyllis Penzo was working as a waitress in a New York pizzeria that was often visited by officers. Robert Cunningham was a cop and a close friend of Penzo.

He didn’t have enough to tip the waitress, so he suggested they both split a lottery ticket. Each of them chooses three of six numbers and agrees to share the winnings evenly. Cunningham wins $6 million and keeps his promise, splitting the money with his friend Penzo. The It Could Happen to You true story ends here – there is no romance between the two. They remained friends, happily married to their spouses.

Interesting fact:
The movie does not resemble the actual lives of Penzo and Cunningham. They were not entitled to collect royalties from the film’s proceeds, nor did they have to authorize it in advance. The credits of It Could Happen to You have a disclaimer that the movie is inspired by a real event.

A Little About Lottery

The lottery is the most popular form of gambling in every country. Lottery history goes way back to ancient times, to the era of the Han Dynasty. Yes, the lottery originated in China, as a game of chance that required players to draw wooden tiles with numbers. The lucky winner got a good price.

The lottery is a game of chance, no doubt. It cannot be rigged; it cannot be predicted. The activity is strictly regulated all over the world, and the chances of winning the lottery can be 1 in a million. Of course, it depends on the type of lottery that you play, as there are different types of lottery games.

You can try your luck at different lotteries either online or buy a physical ticket. There are specific days when the winning numbers are announced on the media, or you can check your ticket at the nearest kiosk. Those of you who prefer to play online can check out our dedicated article about playing lottery online.

Is It Could Happen to You a Gambling Movie?

The storyline’s focus is the lottery ticket that Charlie buys after his heated argument with Muriel the night before. She is tired of living in a small apartment and wants to treat herself with expensive clothes, shoes and jewels. She even plans on undergoing breast surgery. We can say that she represents the gambler in the movie with her ambition and belief that she will win, as well as with her slot machine dream (we’re sorry, this is really the last one).

Slot Machine Dream

Charlie, on the other hand, feels great with his life. He loves Queens, he loves his job as a cop despite the low salary, and he does everything to please Muriel but doesn’t get anything in return. He buys the ticket because of her, but he changes one of the numbers she gave him. If it wasn’t for that number, the couple wouldn’t have won, and the story would be much more different.

We could agree that Charlie is far from being a gambler and a materialistic guy. Like Muriel points out many times throughout the scenes, he is too generous and kind and thinks about everybody else first. His act of kindness and chivalry towards Yvonne pays out. The two become a sensation for the media, and their tale is one of the craziest lottery winner stories.

Interesting fact:
The first title of the movie was Cop Gives Waitress a $2 Million Tip, which was pretty straightforward, so it was changed to It Could Happen to You. In the scene where Yvonne and Charlie take a picture with the check, the top article of the newspaper has the original title of the movie.

Where to Watch It Could Happen to You?

The It Could Happen to You 1994 film is available online on Netflix and Amazon. You can either watch it on desktop/mobile, rent it or buy it. It is available with subtitles, as well as with dubbing. You can have a look at the trailer of the movie in the section below. We’re sure you’re going to like it and that you would like to watch it.

In a Nutshell

The It Could Happen to You 1994 film is a sweet love story with lots of twists and a winning lottery ticket. The plot is great, the It Could Happen to You movie cast is fantastic, and you can watch the Andrew Bergman production online. We highly recommend you watch the comedy. You will enjoy it for sure.

FAQ

We’ve gathered the answers to frequently asked questions about the It Could Happen to You movie in this section of the article for your convenience. With a little help from our editors and some extra research, we did our best to give you all the information about the film.

🧐 Is It Could Happen to You on Netflix?

Yes, you can find the It Could Happen to You movie on Netflix. You can also watch it on Amazon and Amazon Prime. You can watch the film online or buy it. It has great reviews, and we highly recommend you give it a go.

❓ Is It Could Happen to You a true story?

It Could Happen to You is not based on a true story, but it is inspired by a real-life event. Back in the 80s, a cop and a waitress at a pizzeria, who were close friends, shared a lottery ticket. Each chose three out of six numbers and later won $6 million, splitting the prize as promised.

🤔 Where was It Could Happen to You filmed?

The movie was filmed in New York. You will recognise some scenes from Manhattan, as well as Queens, where the story takes place. The It Could Happen to You gambling movie is very interesting and fun, different from other gambling-themed titles. It is a romantic film, with a dash of luck.

💭 What is the movie It Could Happen to You about?

The It Could Happen to You movie is about a couple, a waitress and a lottery ticket. The good cop Charlie Lang meets waitress Yvonne Biasi in the local diner. He doesn't have enough money to tip her, so he promises to bring her half of his lottery win on the next day. He wins $4 million.

🎥 Who starred in the movie It Could Happen to You?

The It Could Happen to You movie cast is great. Nicolas Cage is in the role of the sweet cop, Charlie Lang. Bridget Fonda is the lovely Yvonne, the waitress, in the film, and in the role of Muriel is the wonderful Rosie Perez. The film is worth watching because of the wonderful cast.

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