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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Nickel & Diming
on April 13, 2003
I had a hard time grasping how a group of people is stealing (trading/swapping/owning) huge amounts of money from each other, yet individually looked, talked, acted, dressed, and lived like folks far below the poverty level.
Freddie (Cameron Diaz) is being forced to marry Sam Clayton (Vincent d'Onofrio) by Red (Delroy Lindo). For big, bad Red, it is a tidy transaction. Freddie supposedly stole ten thousand from him, and Red owes this amount to Sam. The film opens with reluctant Freddie in all her wedding finery racing madly down a dirt road in an ugly midwestern milieu chased by a muscle car filled with yowling raging men. Freddie loses and is perforce married to Sam (resplendent in a baby blue tuxedo and ruffled shirt) in an outdoor wedding held in the backyard of a very modest home. Enter Jjaks (unbeloved brother of Sam, Keanu Reeves), a loser from childhood days who is returning from a stint in the slammer. Freddie spots him after the nuptials, and for reasons best known to herself, looks to Jjaks as her salvation. He's supposedly going to get her out of the marriage and find the money that Sam has hidden. After a seduction of Jjaks subtle as a sledgehammer, they take off. The chase is on. The Clayton brothers steal cars like most people change their socks, so neither brother was ever short of transportation. After violent mayhem, dead bodies, and spectacular chase scenes, Freddie & Jjaks make their separate ways out of Minnesota and reunite (sorta).
"Feeling Minnesota" spared nothing in the talent department. Along with the principals, Tuesday Weld and Courtney Love had small roles as respectively, Mom Clayton and a dippy waitress. Special mention must go to Vincent d'Onofrio as unlovable, clumsy, hysterical Sam. He has a physical knack of stealing almost every scene he is in. Cameron Diaz gave the picture what little centeredness it had with her wanton, vulnerable, compelling performance as Freddy. Delroy Lindo as Red makes his character a tinderbox of menace and macho combined with heavy-handed good humor. I am always amazed at Keanu Reeves who can mumble his way through a stone faced performance; then smile once and collect big bucks and swarms of fans. He sticks to this winning combination in "Feeling Minnesota."
While overall enjoyable and with some great comic moments, the film teeters between dark comedy and wincing brutality. The viewer has a difficult time reconciling the entire experience. Unless you are a diehard Keanu Reeves fan, I think a rental will be enough.