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It Could Happen to You (1994)

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A police officer promises to share his lottery ticket with a waitress in lieu of a tip.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Charlie Lang
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Yvonne Biasi
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Muriel Lang
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Bo Williams
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...
Jesu
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Jack Gross
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Eddie Biasi
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Sal Bontempo
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Walter Zakuto
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C. Vernon Hale
Robert Dorfman ...
Walter
...
Timothy
Beatrice Winde ...
Judge
Ginny Yang ...
Mrs. Sun
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Storyline

Charlie and Muriel Lang have led simple lives - for most of their existance. That's until they win $4 million on the lottery! There is a problem, however. Prior to winning the lottery, Charlie had eaten at a cafe and hadn't been able to tip the waitress. He had promised her, jokingly, that if he won the lottery he'd give her half of it. This is why his wife, Muriel decides to leave him. She doesn't want the waitress to get a cent of their money. Infact she wants all $4 million for herself! Written by Michael Feller <reb@magna.com.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's not about money. It's about life. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild language and a scene of cop action | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

29 July 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cop Gives Waitress $2 Million Tip!  »

Box Office

Gross:

£300,230 (UK) (11 November 1994)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie is based on the true story of Phyllis Penzo and Officer Robert Cunningham. For twenty-four years, Penzo served as a waitress at Sal's Pizzeria in Yonkers, New York. Cunningham, a thirty-year veteran of the police force in nearby Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., was a regular customer at the restaurant, well-liked by the staff there. (His favorite dish was linguine with clams.) One day in March, 1984, Cunningham asked Penzo for help picking his weekly lottery numbers. Penzo suggested three numbers, and Cunningham came up with three more numbers on his own. Cunningham jokingly promised that if he won, he would split the winnings with Penzo as a tip. The next day, to Penzo's surprise, Cunningham and his wife came to the diner with the winning lottery ticket in hand. Cunningham's ticket had won $6 million, which he split with Penzo, giving her $3 million. In real life, however (as stated in a disclaimer at the end of the movie), Cunningham and Penzo were both happily married to other people for many years. See more »

Goofs

At the beginning of the film, the character of Angel Dupree (portrayed by 'Isaac Hayes (I)') states that "The story you're about to see... it's pretty much all true." In fact, the only resemblance the fictionalized account bears to the real story is that it involves a cop and waitress splitting the proceeds of a lottery ticket. In reality, the cop, Robert Cunningham, and the waitress, Phyllis Penzo, had been acquainted for fifteen years, as Cunningham was a regular customer in the restaurant where Penzo worked. One night, Cunningham jokingly offered half interest in the proceeds of his lottery ticket to Penzo, and each chose half the numbers; therefore, the waitress was actually responsible for half the winning numbers, making the lottery money legitimately half hers as opposed to the generous gift it is portrayed as in the film. There was also never a romance between the two; both Penzo and Cunningham were and continue to be happily married to other people, and Cunningham had his wife's full support in sharing the lottery proceeds. While some dramatic license is to be expected in a film adaptation of actual events, the story told in the film could not, by any stretch of the imagination, be considered "pretty much all true." See more »

Quotes

Muriel Lang: You should be locked up in that looney bin on Staten Island that Geraldo Rivera is always exposing!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mad About You: The City (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

She's No Lady
Written and Performed by Lyle Lovett
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User Reviews

so hard to dislike
7 March 2002 | by See all my reviews

Warm, enchanting, simply wonderful romantic comedy plays out like a fairy tale brought to life. Cage is a gracious, good-natured New York cop who wins the lotto; against the wishes of his demanding, mercurial wife (Perez), he splits it with a hard-luck waitress (Fonda) as repayment for not leaving a tip! Predictable every step of the way, and hard to believe (though it's purportedly based on a true story), but it's so well-performed, so irresistibly charming, so sweet and romantic that you really don't mind. Not only a good showcase for the film's three ideal leads, but also a kindhearted film that gives hope to the notion of human decency. ***


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Message Boards

Recent Posts
who wouldnt be mad at their husband LilyViolet
He didn't have to give her $2m strangerfromuk
What would do you if you won $4 million? cmyklefty
little annoyance imagine85
What are they throwing at the end? lexie3787
Real life: Waitress gets Porsche as a tip! emenel
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