When your life depends on losing... the last thing you need is lady luck.
Directed by Wayne Kramer, The Cooler
is a 2003 film starring William H Macy
, Alec Baldwin
, and Maria Bello
Unlucky Bernie Lootz (Macy) has little going for him: He lives in a dreary studio apartment in a rundown motel on the Las Vegas Strip
, he's indebted to Shangri-La casino boss
Shelly Kaplow (Baldwin), who years earlier cured him of a gambling habit by destroying his kneecap, and he can't recall the last time he had physical contact with a woman. His success as a "cooler" (he is so unlucky that he breaks other people's winning streaks just by standing close to them) is jeopardized when cocktail waitress Natalie Belisario (Bello) seemingly takes an interest in him, and his luck -— and that of those around him -— takes a turn for the better. What Bernie doesn't know is that Shelly has paid the woman to seduce him into staying in town. What Shelly doesn't know is that Natalie actually has fallen in love with Bernie, and vice versa.
- Badass Boast: Shelly, to his victim, before and during an epic beatdown.
Shelly: "Now listen to me, you little Harvard turd. Lootz is all right. So he's walking out of here with everything he's got coming to him. And if you so much as touch one fucking hair on his fucking head, I'm going to fucking wallpaper this fucking bathroom with your fucking ass,
you understand me? Muted tones, isn't that what you said? Huh? Huh? I can't hear you. Wait, wait a minute, there it is... blended in, at a subsonic level, like some kind of mantra: pain, pain, PAIN." (breaks his arm)
- Born Unlucky: Bernie is such a magnet for bad luck, he can put an end to any gambler's winning streak just by standing next to them. That's actually how he makes a living.
- Cluster F-Bomb
- The Grunting Orgasm: Bernie gives one during the tune, 'Luck be a Lady Tonight' when having sex with Natalie.
- Heel-Face Turn: Shelly, who crippled Bernie both physically and financially to begin with and destroyed him as a man over the years doesn't interfere when Bernie starts a winning streak to buy his future back at the craps table. Shelly takes it a step further by beating down his blueblood assistant when he tries to stop Bernie.
- Male Frontal Nudity: Subverted. We see both Bernie and Natalie lying on the bed complmenting each other about the sex they just had, but when the camera moves downward, Natalie has her hands on his penis.
- Trapped by Gambling Debts: The reason why Bernie Lootz works for the casino as a "Cooler" is because he owes the casino over a hundred thousand dollars in gambling debts.
- Viva Las Vegas