It seems like everything in today’s society is overly sexualized. You can not have a movie, book, or song that doesn’t have some little reference to sex somewhere in it. Abe & Phil’s Last Poker Game is a movie that will not disappoint in that aspect. Don’t let the title fool you folks! There is a poker game and some references to poker but that is not what this movie is about.
Abe Mandelbaum (Martin Landau) has come to Cliffside Manor with his ailing wife Molly looking to get her the help that she needs and he can no longer provide for her. At Cliffside Manor Abe meets a womanizing gambler by the name of Phil Nicoletti (Paul Sorvino) and they become fast friends. Unbeknown to Abe or Phil a nurse by the name of Angela (Maria Dizzia) has gotten a job at Cliffside Manor in search of her biological father. Angela had received an anonymous letter stating that that is where her father is living.
In their days at the nursing home, they grow closer with tales of Phil’s womanizing and gambling, Abe’s impotence, and Angela’s search for her biological parents. Angela’s hope to find her father has her gravitating to these two men for help and guidance. Phil’s regrets in life and Abe’s infidelity in his younger years has these two men wondering if Angela could be theirs. The only way to know is for Abe to blackmail the director of the nursing home with his unquestionable ethics in order to get DNA tests on all men at Cliffside Manor.
This film was a very big let down. The writing is horrible and the plot seemed to be not there altogether. The situations that the characters are in are very heartbreaking, but that seems to be lost in the nonsense of other things thrown in to be just be thrown in. The sex scenes in this movie were very unnecessary. I feel that the scenes were there just to say that they were there. Also, the writers attempt at humor fell very short. Given the bare bones of this film, I believe that it had the potential to be a very good movie.
I am not sure where the writer was going with this movie but I feel like he did not do the characters justice at all. The characters were portrayed flat with little depth yet their backstories suggest a lot of range of emotions that the writer just left alone. Everything seemed to be one dimensional and rushed. This movie did not have enough substance for me. I wanted to be taken on a rollercoaster ride of emotions with a movie yet this one was more like I was riding the Tea Cups at your local county fair.