Lucky 13

Director: Chris Hall

As the song goes, “you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone,” and usually with love—especially where male desire is concerned, it seems to be the same case. In this lukewarm comedy, based on a story by Eric Swelstad and Ira Heffer, screenwriters Chris Hall (who also directs) and Ari Schlossberg tell the tale of Zach Baker, (a miscast Brad Hunt). An average man unlucky in love, Zach realizes he has romantic feelings for his longtime best friend and dream girl next door Abbey (the always amazing Lauren Graham) when she is seduced by the opportunity to move from small town Midwest to New York to realize her dream to become a painter. Zach inexplicably and abruptly decides that the best way to win her heart isn’t by using all of the knowledge he has gained in nearly a lifelong of friendship but by visiting old girlfriends to discover just what went wrong in order for relationship number 13 to be the charm. If it sounds a bit familiar to you, that’s because the same general idea seems to be a popular one in American romantic comedy as of late and ran through the both superior works High Fidelity and the dramatic comedy Broken Flowers in digging up old flames. Lucky 13 is hardly original or redeemable from its state as a mildly entertaining time-waster, save for some amusing bits by the actors cast as Zach’s immediate family including parents played by Debra Jo Rupp (from Friends) and John Doe and his best friend Beckman (Harland Williams), along with veteran comedienne and Gilmore Girls star Graham. In what one can only assume was a worthwhile filmmaking learning experience for Hall, who had some great small bits to play with here but ones that didn’t pay off in a way to make the entire film watchable, here’s to hoping that his next venture will be filled with more success and (as the title of this one implied) luck.