In older casino jargon a cooler was a player or employee that was not only themselves unlucky around the tables but additionally made those around them more unlucky. The Cooler is a film about just that, a player down on his luck and in debt to powerful casino owners whilst living and working on the Las Vegas Strip. With such a story to play with the writers could properly explore the superstition in the gambling industry as well as the darker, more immoral side to betting.
The movie received positive reviews on average, with the most notable ones directed toward the casting and actor performances of which a fair few A list names contributed toward the experience. Overall this is a film intended to look at the nitty gritty parts of the casino gaming world, and add a few perspectives to this favoured past time.
Opening The Cooler Plot and Storyline
The main character of this story is one Bernie Loots, who is the namesake of the film, The Cooler. Down on his luck and slowly paying of gambling debt Bernie strikes up discussion with Shelly Kaplow, who owns the Shangri-La casino on the Strip as well as being recipient for the due gambling debt accrued by Bernie. This relationship is far from amicable; especially as Shelly broke Bernie’s kneecap a few years before for a very similar situation. Determined to finally pay off his debt and move out of Vegas Bernie announces this decision to Shelly. Then things begin to change.
Bernie meets a woman and his superstition as The Cooler begins to fade and even to turn all the way around. What Bernie is yet to realise here is that Shelly has paid this woman to keep him here, keep him gambling and keep him in debt. What Shelly are soon to realise however, is that these two are falling in love with each other, regardless of pre-planned agendas. This does therefore culminate towards a rather happier ending than would have been surmised upon meeting Bernie Loots. The story goes through the ups and downs of a gambler in debt in the city of Las Vegas, which would definitely consist of some specific highs and lows.
The writers also get to experiment with the moral dilemmas of the situation and the River Belle Casino gaming industry, as few people will come to find themselves more immersed than those who live and thrive on the Strip itself. A good overall idea but of course with a bit of overplayed character and storyline aspects most movies fall prey to in this day and age where authenticity is impossible to replicate one hundred per cent through.
Different Cast Members of The Cooler
The 2003 film The Cooler actually had quite a few different A list names in the credits and was praised heavily for its casting. On the roster are names like William H. Macy, Maria Bello and Alec Baldwin. The latter receiving considerable acclaim for the role of Shelly Kaplow. Overall the actors did well to bring the writings of screenwriters Frank Hannah and Wayne Kramer to life.