Rediscover Nicholas Cage’s Sweet Side in 90s Rom-Com ‘It Could Happen to You’

Nicolas Cage showcases his chivalrous side with trademark quirks in the lesser-known 90s romantic comedy ‘It Could Happen to You.’ Playing a straight-laced New York City cop, Cage delivers a surprisingly sweet performance, diverging from his usual oddball and outcast roles. Alongside Bridget Fonda and Rosie Perez, the film remains a heartwarming tale of unlikely love between ordinary New Yorkers, now available for streaming on Netflix.

‘It Could Happen to You’ is not just a love story between its characters but also a homage to the vibrant people and bustling streets of New York City. Directed by Andrew Bergman and written by Jane Anderson, the film garnered positive reviews and moderate box-office success upon its release, yet it has since faded from widespread recognition in the rom-com genre.

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It Could Happen to You
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The storyline follows NYPD officer Charlie Lang (Nicolas Cage), a kind-hearted man trapped in a disappointing marriage with the money-focused hair stylist Muriel (Rosie Perez). Living modestly in Queens, Charlie’s life takes an unexpected turn when he promises to split his lottery winnings with waitress Yvonne Biasi (Bridget Fonda) after he realizes he can’t leave her a tip at a local diner. Against all odds, Charlie wins the lottery, thrusting him, Muriel, and Yvonne into the spotlight as they navigate newfound wealth and unexpected romance.

Narrated with charm by Isaac Hayes, the film features notable performances from Ann Dowd and Richard Jenkins, adding depth to its ensemble cast. Inspired by a true story, albeit with embellishments for cinematic effect, ‘It Could Happen to You’ captures the essence of a rare, selfless act that resonated beyond the headlines.

It Could Happen to You
Image Courtesy: Apple TV

Nicolas Cage’s portrayal of Charlie Lang contrasts sharply with his more eccentric roles in films like ‘Moonstruck’ and ‘Raising Arizona.’ Here, he embodies the role of a reformed bad boy turned good, portraying Charlie with a mix of kindness and humour that charms both Yvonne and audiences alike. Cage’s chemistry with Bridget Fonda’s Yvonne is palpable, making them a memorable and endearing on-screen couple of the 90s rom-com era.

The film’s nostalgic appeal extends to its soundtrack, including a classic montage set to Tony Bennett’s ‘Young at Heart,’ capturing moments of joy and spontaneity shared by Charlie and Yvonne. Rosie Perez shines as the ruthless Muriel, providing a formidable antagonist to the blossoming romance between Charlie and Yvonne.

It Could Happen to You
Image Courtesy: Apple TV

‘It Could Happen to You’ encapsulates the essence of 90s romantic comedies, with its New York setting, charismatic performances, and heartfelt storyline. Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the film remains a testament to the enduring charm of unconventional love stories, reminding audiences that sometimes, love can be found in the most unexpected places.

–Farheen Ali