Let It Ride (1989)

Let It Ride (1989)Synopsis:

Richard Dreyfuss (American Graffiti and The Goodbye Girl) plays a compulsive gambler who is always on the look out for that one chance for redemption that will help him win back the trust and affection of his long-suffering wife, played by Teri Garr (The Black Stallion and Tootsie).

Reaction & Thoughts:

Directed by Joe Pytka (Space Jam) from a screenplay by Orcar-winning writer Nancy Dowd (Coming Home), based upon the book Good Vibes by Jay Cronley, Let it Ride is an amiable, but silly, predictable comedy about a perpetual loser.

Although the overly-energetic Dreyfuss tries to infuse the film with a much-needed dose of enthusiasm, Let it Ride fails primarily because of its mundane script. I’m not going to deny that the movie has its moments — occasionally, the actors overcome the weak script — but, in my opinion, there aren’t enough goodies here to justify the movie’s existence.

Let it Ride was filmed at a difficult time in Dreyfuss’s life. After a string of consecutive mega hits in the 1970s, his career suddenly stalled. His much-publicized problems with drugs were mainly to blame, and in the late 1980s, he tried desperately to revive his fading film career. Although his career never quite gained the same momentum, he is now enjoying a respectable second career as a reliable character actor.

Dreyfuss is surrounded by a truly fantastic supporting cast. Garr is hilarious as Dreyfuss’s wife, Pam. They had played, of course, a different kind of married couple in Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). It’s nice to see them together again. Unfortunately, the material doesn’t do them justice. 

The surprisingly strong supporting cast includes Jennifer Tilly (Bullets Over Broadway), Mary Woronov (Death Race 2000), Cynthia Nixon (TV’s Sex in the City), Robbie Coltrane (Rubeus Hagrid in the Harry Potter films) and Allen Garfield (Dick Tracy). Singer Michelle Phillips plays Mrs. Davis. They’re all great.

Oscar-winning composer Giorgio Moroder’s (Midnight Express and American Gigolo) pleasant musical score is a big plus.

Conclusions & Final Thoughts:

Let it Ride is one of those films that fades quickly from one’s memory as soon as the final credits roll by — the movie went straight to home video. Interestingly, it now enjoys a cult following among gambling aficionados. Color, 90 minutes, Rated PG.

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2 responses to “Let It Ride (1989)

  1. I quite liked this movie, when I saw it on TV years ago. I thought it was fascinating that you always expected Dreyfuss to lose it all and he never does. I think, though, I’ll give it another go with your review in mind.

    Liked by 1 person

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