In Passing: “Small Time Crooks” (2000 DVD)

A friend passed on this Woody Allen movie which starts off predictably about a schnook (Allen) trying to make a better life for himself and his wife. A plan to rob a bank sidebars into a cookie-making empire and then the focus becomes about poor people trying to become cultured after they acquire unexpected riches. Though the outcomes turn out predictably, ‘the way there’ is entertaining enough for me to recommend this little film by Allen. It works because he’s acting in it and the two main women–Tracey Ullmann and Elaine May– are interesting, ‘dumb’, and funny enough to steal the show from Allen. Call this one: the triumph of limited folks managing to survive changes in fortune and yet remain together and happy.

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