Life of Crime, a dark comedy

Jennifer Aniston in Life of Crime

Life of Crime, a nearly 10 year old film that faded into obscurity quickly, is now hiding away deep inside HBO Max. It stars Jennifer Anniston with a charming ensemble cast around her. It’s actually an entertaining film.

Life of Crime is based on a book by Elmore Leonard called “The Switch.” It introduces two characters who later went on to figure in the much better known Jackie Brown. Daniel Schechter wrote the screenplay and directed the film.

Here’s a brief outline of the plot. Mickey (Jennifer Aniston) and Frank (Tim Robbins) are married. He’s hiding profits from his real estate dealings in an offshore bank.

Some not-too-smart crooks learn about the money and kidnap his wife. They demand $1M.

But, oops, Frank just filed for divorce from Mickey and won’t pay a penny to get her back. He’s holed up in the Bahamas with his main squeeze Melanie (Isla Fisher).

Jennifer Aniston and John Hawkes in Life of Crime
Louis is the kindhearted crook who made it into Jackie Brown a few years later

Louis (John Hawkes) and Ordell (Yasiin Bey) are the two main crooks. Their plans for their crimes never work as anticipated and they frequently have to dream up new ideas on the fly. They are helped by a neo-Nazi white supremacist with lots of guns, Richard (Mark Boone Junior).

Yasiin Bey in Life of Crime
Ordell, played here by Yasiin Bey, also makes it into the Jackie Brown story

Ordell is marginally smarter than the others. Everyone in the cast is a bit too chatty with everyone else about how Frank makes his money, where he keeps it, and the best way to get it from him. This leads to a humorous number of plot twists as characters don’t always stick with their assigned roles as predator, prey, and lover.

The film was dry and droll, rather than laugh out loud funny. The cast was good and seemed to be having a good time with the material. If you’ve run out of new things to watch, this obscure oldie might hit the spot.

4 thoughts on “Life of Crime, a dark comedy”

  1. James Orin Lawrence

    I was looking to watch movies based on Elmore Leonard books a couple of weeks ago and stumbled on this movie. My wife and I practically fell out of our chairs laughing at the ending.

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