Jon Gries (Men in Black) and Saturday Night Live's Garrett Morris star in this bizarre yet compelling little road movie. Sunny Holiday (Gries) dreams of being a singer. Rather than taking a more direct route, he works on "... more »building his audience" by hitting tiny karaoke contests across the country. Gries underplays Sunny well, making him neither too good nor too bad a singer; his dreams seem reasonable and ludicrous at the same time. Morris makes Les a beautiful counterpoint--someone who's either a shrewd genius or completely nuts. The story line is an odd one that falls apart a bit at the end, but is nonetheless worth watching. Much like Sunny and Les, Jackpot is weird but surprisingly likable. --Ali Davis« less
"I went to this movie not knowing anything about it, but was blown away by this smart comic, tale about a Karaoke singer's journey through the belly of America. Living in LA I see a lot of movies, and most of them are awful. That's why this was such a nice surprise; I found myself laughing out loud at the dialogue between John Gries and Garett Morris . These two guys give great performances, as a most ridiculous but somehow plausible paring of Karaoke singer and manager.
But Jackpot isn't just a comedy. It's also a rather stark look at the quest for fame and love, or, perhaps more accurately, fame as love. Sunny Holiday (Jon Gries) has a wife, effectively portrayed by Daryle Hannah, and a new baby girl. But, like his father, he's a deadbeat dad, sending $1 lottery tickets instead of child support. As much as I found myself laughing at Sunny Holiday, I also resented his lack of conscience regarding his family. Jackpot, really is what Sunny's looking for: the elusive pot of gold at the end of the rainbow- But like real life, the journey for gold is often the least glamorous trip imaginable. To subsidize their trip, Less and Sunny sell soap which will remove "any stain."
Jackpot is one of those rare films worth buying because you can see it many times and still catch subtle, new nuances. For instance, the first time I saw the movie I didn't realize the voice that narrates occasionally over the pink Cadillac's trajectory is in fact a self-help tape Sunny Holiday picks up at a gas station. Cool, little plot points like this make Jackpot a great movie that resonates on several different levels at once. I highly recommend it."
It's like Candy
benjamenta | Baton Rouge, LA | 03/17/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The actor singing Cameo's "Candy" is worth the price of admission. There are some hella funny scenes in this movie-- and Garrett Morris should have won an Academy Award for this character."
If you missed Jackpot at the theaters, check it out now
Chad Troutwine | Las Vegas,, NV USA | 11/05/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jackpot was one of the coolest movies of the year (2001), but like a lot of independent films it didn't last long in the theaters. I know most of my friend missed it, but I hope they check it out now. I am so psyched to add it to my DVD collection. As much as I enjoyed Twin Falls Idaho, the Polish Brothers' debut effort, I actually liked Jackpot better. While TFI was certainly moving, Jackpot was as funny as it was touching. The Route 66 lives depicted in Jackpot are right on the mark--we've all rolled through little honky tonks like the ones depicted in the film, but few of us stay. In Jackpot I got the chance to linger for awhile. And in Sunny and Les, I got a two-headed Odysseus searching for stardom instread of a home port. Jackpot is part Tender Mercies, part Midnight Cowboy, part comedy and all Polish Brothers."
ancientmonkey | New Jersey | 03/16/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is the "Five Easy Pieces" of our time. Except that Jackpot was shot in 15 days and for 400k (budget from commentary track) which gives it a brilliant Cassevetes feel. What I love about this film is that it really depicts a regular guy trying to become a singer, this is so American Idol! Maybe the contestants on that show can watch "Jackpot" and see where they are all going to end up... selling soap door to door."
Wish You Were Here
ancientmonkey | 11/13/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I saw this movie last Summer, I wanted to see it twice but it was gone. I hate these theaters that keep movies in for a week. If I wasn't working at the coffee shop next door I wouldn't have known that Jackpot ever existed. My point is, Jackpot is a true classic and it might be years before anyone really appreciates the American commentary. That is a shame, because filmmakers like the Polish Brothers won't last in an environment that thrives on fluff. Probably like most good artists, they will pass before they receive the recognition. This movie isn't perfect... what movie is? Jackpot is hilarious with originality to spare."