on March 23, 2001 by Christine James
   A mother-daughter swindler team--aptly surnamed Conner--make their living bilking alimony settlements out of men in a seduction scam as cynical as it is Freudishly creepy: Mom Max (Sigourney Weaver) woos wealthy marks into marriage, then sends scantily-clad scion Page (Jennifer Love Hewitt) to tantalize them. Conveniently walking in the moment before consummation with a well-rehearsed expression of aghast devastation, the cuckolded bride collects remuneration without a fight.

   After a dozen or so such ploys, Page is ready to go out on her own, but Max talks her into one last big score. They target an aged millionaire (Gene Hackman) who is ridiculously obsessed with smoking and touting the habit's virtues. Presumably, this tactic is intended to deflect sympathy from the otherwise inoffensive coot. But sympathy is already a scarce commodity in this broadly-played farce. Though hearts of gold do lie somewhere beneath the Conner women's décolletage, no one seems to get past their necklines, given that even their soul mates fall for them long before their obligatory transformations. Most of the laughs come toward the end as one of Max's former victims (Ray Liotta) catches up with her to exact revenge, but instead finds himself gleefully getting into the spirit of the scheme. Starring Sigourney Weaver, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ray Liotta, Jason Lee and Gene Hackman. Directed by David Mirkin. Written by Robert Dunn and Paul Guay & Stephen Mazur. Produced by John Davis and Irving Ong. An MGM release. Comedy. Rated PG-13 for sex-related content including dialogue. Running time: 122 min

Tags: Sigourney Weaver, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ray Liotta, Jason Lee, Gene Hackman, Directed by David Mirkin, Written by Robert Dunn, Paul Guay, Stephen Mazur, Produced by John Davis, Irving Ong, An MGM release, Comedy, fight, devastation, expression, millionaire

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