14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Walken is hilarious in another fine flim-flam film,
This review is from: $5 a Day (DVD)
I was surprised to see this at the local rental barn; I love Walken and had never heard of it. How can anything with him as the comedic star be shelved like this was? Chris has it all as an actor as well as a comic presence: tight timing, wryness to spare, and an endless reservoir of sly looks and moves. Not many actors have a resume with films like Pennies From Heaven, The Deer Hunter, King Of New York, Catch Me If You Can (another fine flim-flam film (say that three times fast)) and $5 A Day, to name but a few of Walken's best.
Not to mention his many classic skits on SNL (The Continental!), where his dancing and comedic skills finally gained the huge audience they deserve. This film is no exception; it's light on the hoofing but heavy on the laughs, mainly from Walken. The script has some fine moments as do the other actors, but 5AD is all Walken's, and he's fully up to the task. He easily controls every single scene he's in; you can't take your eyes off him---the sign of a true star---and he delivers the laughs here by milking every line for all it's worth with his trademark off-beat pauses. The guy knows how to use his eyes and voice to focus our thoughts exactly where he wants them, then bang! Yet another crisp bit of humor.
He makes a perfect con man here; Nat is charmingly duplicitous, and his never-ending schemes are rarely mean or uncouth...just slippery as an eel. He sucks everybody into his weird wake, and his son Ritchie has trouble holding the many grudges he has every right to. Walken makes Nat so likable that you end up cheering him on and cracking up every time he pulls another fast one. The only question for me here is why this took two years to come out on dvd, and got such limited release in theaters. It's a sweet little comedy, and even the oddly orange Sharon Stone is quite funny in it; I have a strong feeling this will be a real cult classic as the years roll by.
If you like Walken, have any charmingly roguish family members, or just love to crack up, $5 A Day will keep you laughing until its bittersweet end.