I have always been interested in David Mamet’s works and it took me a while to actually check out his movies. I saw “Spartan” a few years ago and thought it was one of Val Kilmer’s best films with its intensity and constant momentum. I saw “Glenglarry Glen Ross” last year and loved the sheer shark-like personalities of the characters and the amazing dialogue throughout the film.
I watched “House of Games” yesterday and I am without a doubt a Mamet fan. The movie turned out to be completely different than I thought it was going to be. I thought it was going to revolve around a therapist and her patient but I was completely wrong. The film stars Lindsay Crouse as Dr. Margaret Ford, a psychologist that becomes infatuated with con men and their trade especially Mike (Joe Mantegna) a smooth talking grifter. She finds herself being drawn to the lifestyle and wants to be a part of their schemes.
Joe Mantegna, who I know mostly from the television show “Criminal Minds”, is quite a good actor especially with his part as Mike. Mike is a man who enjoys the thrill of scamming people and does it once on Margaret who finds it fascinating that she didn’t know that she was being schemed until the very last minute. Mike is witty and personable which has Margaret quickly falling for him. But unbeknownst to Margaret things turn upside down and she has to take matters into her own hands to right her life.
I have always been intrigued by con men/women and have seen several films that revolve around them: “Matchstick Men, “The Grifters” and “Hard Eight”. This movie definitely ranks high on my list of great films about people succumbing to the con man’s game.