Two Casino-Based Comedies From TV and Film

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Casinos have been a part of film and television as long as the two forms of entertainment have been around. They have often been the scenes of duels over a game of cards with high stakes or the venues for major meetings in the penthouse suites, with Casino Royale and The Godfather springing to mind more than most when discussing those types of action and tense drama.

However, casinos have also been featured in hilarious comedy series and films. We’ll now take a look at two examples that have placed characters in funny moments on the casino floor.

Friends (The One in Vegas Part 1 and 2)

The two-parter begins when the gang follows Joey to Las Vegas after he lands a major acting job. Joey’s big break is put on hold as his project is put on hiatus. Therefore, he is forced to take a position at Caesar’s Palace as an atmosphere character. Chandler and Monica take to the craps tables and have a game of chicken over whether to get married in Vegas, while Rachel and Ross take full advantage of the hotel minibar and accidentally end up tying the knot in an Elvis-themed chapel. The casino lends itself to the drama of the occasion as Chandler and Monica keep on throwing eights, pushing them further down the aisle.

Casinos have certainly changed a lot since these episodes aired, with online gaming becoming increasingly popular in the years since. When you play online live roulette, for instance, you can experience the same level of excitement and drama that you would in a Vegas casino, albeit without the risk of a surprise wedding... The episodes split opinion from fans of the show, and you can make up your own mind whether it was one of the best, mediocre or worst of the 236 episodes.

Rat Race

The film begins at the Venetian in Las Vegas. Eccentric billionaire Donald Sinclair (John Cleese) selects six people at random from the casino floor playing on the slot machines to participate in a race from Vegas to Silver City, New Mexico for a prize of $2m. The opening scenes feature a great deal of comedy in the casino itself, with Jon Lovitz as Randy Pear stealing the show as he attempts to convince his wife and two children that he needs to leave without specifying why.

Rowan Atkinson as Enrico Pollini is also hilarious, suffering from bouts of narcolepsy that limit his ability to compete for the money. Cuba Gooding Jr has perhaps the best journey, beginning in his time at the casino where he is recognised as a bungling NFL referee, which follows him around for the entirety of the movie. It is full of laughs from start to finish and is PG-13 so it’s friendly enough for families, although there is a little bit of swearing. Rat Race does have a very satisfying ending topped off by Smash Mouth singing their classic All-Star.

Read 210 times Last modified on Wednesday, 11 March 2020 13:17
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