Let It Ride (1989) Directed by Joe Pytka. With Richard Dreyfuss, Teri Garr, David Johansen and Jennifer Tilly.
Watching a celebrated actor like Richard Dreyfuss, utilising his talents in a comedy as mind-bogglingly trite as Joe Pytka’s Let It Ride, the story of a man who bets increasing amounts of money on horse racing, is equal parts peculiar and sad.
The overall message is as unclear as the central gag. It seems to be saying that praying to God for help with gambling ventures, is a way to get ahead in the world. Don’t try this at home, folks. The film begins with Jay (Dreyfuss) and his wife, Pam (Teri Garr), vowing to make a go of their troubled marriage. Jay then happens across a gambling tip he can’t resist, which reignites his addiction.
Any enjoyment is due to Dreyfuss and his animated turn, however, it’s hard to escape the feeling that he either took the part as a favour, or that he didn’t read the script before signing the contract. The film takes place almost entirely at a racetrack location and features a host of moronic characters doing and saying things that amount to very little indeed.
Dreyfuss is the cherry on top of a stale cake. Let It Ride is as bland waste of everyone’s time, with a badly dated soundtrack, even for 1989. Halfway through, you’ll either switch it off to save yourself the time and electricity, or you’ll tough it out to test your powers of endurance. Either way, it’s a safe bet to assume you won’t have had a good time. 2/5