Shooting Fish - * *

Shooting Fish

Stefan Schwartz directs this con-game comedy from his own script… a script has a few good idea, but which is overwhelmed by problems.

Dylan (Dan Futterman) and Jez (Stuart Townsend) are a pair of hard working con artists seeking to earn 2 million pounds for poor orphans (they’re both orphans, you see…). Dylan is the smooth talker, while Jez is the technical genius.

For one of their scams, they hire a typist, Georgie (Kate Beckinsale), to pretend to be a computer. However, each of the men fall madly in love with Georgie, who doesn’t want anything to do with illicit scams.

You see, Georgie has problems of her own. She’s secretly (at least from Dylan and Jez) engaged to marry a man she despises, yet must marry. Yet she yearns for the sense of adventure she experiences while around Jez and Dylan.

Shooting Fish has an occasional bright moment scattered here and there. Some of the cons are amusing, but most of them are a little too prolonged.

The movie seriously runs aground during its last act, when it contorts to deliver a cloyingly happy ending. Its intent may be self-parody at this point, but whatever the intentions, it rings a note shockingly out of tune with the rest of the film.

The cast is pleasant, but nothing special. Of the three leads, Kate Beckinsale is the most congenial, and has the strongest character. There’s not much more to Dylan and Jez than has been put down in this review.

Shooting Fish ends up being a nice, but unmemorable little film that had the chance to be much better.

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