My husband is an APA tournament player. We both LOVE the game and have even met Jennifer, Jeanette and Alison. As much as we looked forward to this movie, I have to say that this is one of the worst movies I have ever seen - the bad script and BAAAAAAAAAD acting is on par with C grade porno. The difference is, with porno, you know the bad dialogue won't last long, whereas this just goes on and on and gets worse than you could even imagine. There is not an ounce of sex in this thing - a woman in a teddy and a lot of leering is about as close as it gets. Either they could not afford quality porno actors or the APA would not go for it (the underlying promotion for APA league play is so evident in this thing they had to have some part in the financing!).
The lowlights - too many to count - include young Gail watching her pool hustler Dad get stabbed and fall to the sidewalk - before he goes limp he tells her.. "you make me so proud, keep playing pool, remember Daddy loves you" < CROAK>, Jennifer lying in a hospital bed after getting pummeled by her scumbag Uncle Joey. Her injury makeup makes her look like the Little Rascals pup - did some makeup person take black shoe polish and rub rings around her eyes and, oddly, one side of her mouth? Did she do this herself with an old mascara brush?
The film is just riddled with hugely long unnatural dialogue, plot alliteration I guess to help you figure out who is who and what in the hell is going on. This dumb dialogue is interspersed with still shots with no connection to anything - what was the meaning of the shot of the stop sign on the corner and someone's basement door? A look down the street at trash cans?
One prominent theme is that the Uncle is a dickhead who has it coming from multiple sources - fellow gamblers, people he's hustled and even fair-haired Gail whose pool winnings he has stashed away for years. It's just a matter of time. The thing is that the seedy underworld he travels in and the "dark" characters he rubs elbows with are just not scary. They glare and snarl but you feel like you could just thump them on the head with a pool cue and they would snap out of it or slink off muttering "I'll get you - just wait." So lame. A little gratuitous violence may have actually improved this turkey.
There are more odd brief shots spliced into this disaster that make no sense - Gail, post assault, sitting on this bridge with a guy who is her love interest telling him she needs "more time" to figure things out... They kiss gingerly and chastely around her shoe polish bruises. Then there is the confrontation with the Uncle post his arrest that leaves Gail with a shoebox of cash and the realization that her Uncle killed her Father as a favor to her Mother whom the Uncle was screwing. More snarling and glaring and mean talk. Gail takes the box, drops to the sidewalk outside his house crying. WTF?
Then there's the friendly female bar/pool hall owner who had the dream to go pro who confronts the Uncle by saying "I would like nothing better than to smash your head wide open for what you did to Gail but I don't want your puke brains all over my bar." OK. But isn't she the one ho knew he was pool-pimping her out all along?
No matter. There's a quick whiplash-inspiring scene switch to APA pool tourney and Gail smiling away in her APA logo-wear getting pumped up for the big dream match by her love interest and fellow team mates who look like sorority girl extras from the cast of Legally Blonde. Jeanette Lee and Alison Fischer could not have been more wooden in their final pep talk scene before the big APA VEGAS tourney. I wanted to capture the goofy dialogue because, honestly, it was the worst in the entire film - they took "phoning it in" to a whole new *yawn* level. I imagined Jeanette and Alison, true billiard champion superstars with personal brands to protect, having frantic phone calls with their agents minutes before this scene saying "I can NOT do this anymore - get me out of this, please God!" and the agent saying "One more scene and you're home free." Hilarious, but also sad.
Was this supposed to launch Jennifer's acting career? She definitely has a playful side and already dabbles in fun cheesecake promo photos in the pool world. Maybe she can tackle the acting thing again but as a junior actress developing her "chops" with some decent material and serious acting coaching. I started writing this review while still enduring this dog - the thing just ended and so will this review. This terrible movie has already stolen precious moments from my life!