One of those nostalgic flicks from the era of Fools Rush In or While You Were Sleeping, It Could Happen to You is, I think, an underrated peer.

It Could Happen to You (1994) Film Review

Working hard is normal for Charlie (Nicholas Cage). He isn’t a man to sit life out and do nothing. As an NYPD cop, he likes to help people and be kind, and is, as our narrator explains, a good guy. His wife, Mariel (Rosie Perez) is the opposite and is far more self-absorbed than her husband. When the pair win a lottery ticket that Mariel told Charlie to buy, and he picks the numbers for, things turn upside down.

Enter Yvonne (Bridget Fonda), a hard-working waitress who is going through a spot of bad luck. When Charlie randomly meets her on the same day he buys the ticket, he finds he’s sort on cash and cannot leave her a tip. Instead, he promises her half of the lottery ticket he has or he’ll be back to double the tip. Though she doesn’t believe him, Yvonne does indeed see Charlie again, and his return to her life is what forever changes her.


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Like so many of the older films I’m re-watching, It Could Happen to You is another that is supremely entertaining. Full of heart and perseverance and charm, it’s almost impossible not to enjoy the movie. That’s not to say the film is perfect because it isn’t. It has moral flaws, but I also find that almost all of cinema has some kind of flaw, so I’m someone who can overlook something if the story has heart and charm and goodness, all boxes this flick does check.

Surprisingly I like Nicholas Cage in the leading man role though this isn’t a normal role for him. He plays the the character well, and I like the rest of the cast too including Stanly Tucci and Wendell Pierce, whom many of us probably saw in Amazon’s Jack Ryan adaptation. Though I don’t think I’ve seen her in anything else, I think Bridget Fonda is also fabulous; she fits the character well, from the way she’s styled to her interactions with co-star Cage, I do like them together. It’s all very 90s, and in this case, I don’t mind in the least.

Easy to watch and easy to enjoy, It Could Happen to You is lovely. It’s one of those movies you can play when you’re feeling a little down and have zero “fear” about a movie piling on that emotion. Instead, this one is all about uplifting, being a good person and seeing how life can, in a funny way, repay that.

You can stream It Could Happen to You on Netflix, at publication; or rent through places like Apple TV


‘IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU’: A 90S ROM-COM WITH NICHOLAS CAGE. Review of the 1994 comedy about a cop and a waitress. All text © RissiWrites.com

Content: this film implies an affair. We see is two people in a hotel room in robes. There is other minor innuendo, and suggestive remarks. A woman questions someone about getting her boobs done, and we later see she does. There is a minor “tense” scene involving a cop trying to stop a bad situation from getting worse; someone receives a minor injury after they are shot. The film is PG.

Photos: TriStar Pictures

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


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