Suckers (2001)


I’m Just Looking

I admit that I am at a loss for why this particular movie was requested of me by my friend Adam.  It’s a movie I’ve never heard of, and I don’t even know how he came to know of it.  It’s so unknown that only two critics have reviewed it on Rotten Tomatoes so far.  I guess we’ll make it three now, though it won’t really count until Rotten Tomatoes stops ignoring the emails that I’ve never sent.  Either way, and with much pestering from Adam, I have now watched Suckers, written and directed by Roger Nygard, co-written by Joe Yanetty, and starring Louis Mandylor, Daniel Benzali, Lori Loughlin, Michael D. Roberts, David Allen Brooks, William Shockley, and Walter Jones.

Bobby DeLuca (Louis Mandylor) is in some trouble with some loan sharks.  In reaction, he takes a job with Reggie (Daniel Benzali) at South Side Cars, where Bobby’s wife, Donna (Lori Loughlin), works in the office.  With the help of another employee (Michael D. Roberts), he quickly decides that he should no longer be a nice guy in order to suck every cent he can out of customers in order to be the top salesperson, get the monthly bonus, and use it to pay off his debts.  Little does he know that there is more to this business than is on the surface, as one of the employees and Reggie are involved in drug trafficking, and this will most likely turn bad for Bobby.

After having watched the movie, I only have a vague idea why Adam wanted me to watch it, or what made him see it.  It’s a really small movie that apparently never actually got a US release.  My assumption is that this movie has a lot of ties to a place where Adam and I once worked together.  The story is fine, but a little strange with a lot of things that don’t seem to fit the movie.  Rotten Tomatoes seems to barely know anything about this movie beyond the fact that it’s supposed to be a comedy, but I really didn’t get that out of this movie.  It barely seemed funny.  I could maybe go so far as to say it’s attempting to be a dark comedy, but without being very funny, I’d sooner assume it was a drama.  Either way, I didn’t really like it, but didn’t really hate it.  The story is mainly just about a guy getting a job and having to temporarily postpone his humanity to become good at it.  This would have been a Clerks or Waiting-esque premise, but they seemed to realize their dialogue wasn’t strong enough to support that by itself so they threw in some random drug plot for no reason.  That part of the story made the movie way too dark for something I went in to thinking it was supposed to be a comedy, and kind of turned me off.  I did find myself interested in the car sales parts of the movie, but mainly just because they were so similar to things I’ve been told working in retail.  A lot of the things Benzali throws out in the meeting where he’s talking to the employees is very similar to things that have been thrown at us as employees in retail, but they don’t typically tell it to us in such a crude manner as they did in this movie.  A lot of the things like “the first person to talk loses”, asking open-ended questions, and overcoming objections are the same kinds of things they’ve thrown at me, so it made me interested in the movie, but then came the cocaine and mafia subplot that – while I’m sure it happens ALL THE TIME in electronics retail – I have not actually seen at work, so it took me back out.  Also, there was a big part about how Asian people are cheap and (potentially) act like they don’t speak English to manipulate salespeople that is a bad stereotype, but is also one that is actually held by most people in sales.  But, if this was supposed to be a comedy, I didn’t think it was funny at all.  There wasn’t enough action for it to be an action movie, and it wasn’t good enough to really be a drama.  Whatever type of movie they were going for fell a little short for me.

The performances were actually pretty strong in this movie.  Louis Mandylor has a good bit of range to his role in the move, starting off a nervous and shy salesperson, but quickly becoming stronger and more comfortable with it.  He also has tender moments with his wife, and terrified moments with the many dangerous situations he gets thrown into.  He’s also VERY Italian.  Way more Italian than anyone should need to be.  Daneil Benzali was a very unlikeable character in the movie, but he was supposed to be, so I guess he did a good job.  He was such a prick, but you could totally believe that a lot of people would buy a car from him because he seemed to know how to work people.  Lori Loughlin wasn’t in the movie much, but she was cute and did fine.  She did say a line that was so bad it caught my attention, but that’s not really her fault.  She was trying to get all sexy with Mandylor and he was talking about something coming back and biting him in the ass and her come on line was “Why don’t you bite THIS ass?”  I get what you’re going for here, but that is not a good line.  I’d still do it, but only if she was willing after the 20 minute lecture I gave her about shitty dialogue.  The only other super interesting thing I got out of the cast was that the original Black Ranger, Walter Jones, appears briefly in the movie.  I found that vaguely exciting.

Beyond the familiar subject matter, this movie didn’t hold very much interest to me.  It was an interesting look at how retail and retail-like businesses view their customers, but this was marred by an out of place drug/mafia subplot that never really connected with the rest of the movie.  I don’t know what this movie was going for, but it never really made it.  Not bad, but you don’t need to watch it either.  It was available on Netflix, but without being available to stream, i don’t really think it’s worth the wait.  Suckers gets “You are so beyond fucked, you couldn’t catch a bus back to fucked” out of “Don’t fuck with me when I’m thirsty!”

Hey, peeps. Why not rate and comment on this as a favor to good ole Robert, eh? And tell your friends! Let’s make me famous!

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