Do you play the lottery? Do you know the thrill when you buy a ticket, hoping that it might be a winner, anticipating the rewards that could soon be yours? Do you understand the disappointment that comes with finding out you supposed "winner" is really nothing of the sort? If so, then you'll understand my reaction after watching Lottery Fever.
A nebbish-like teacher (Herschel Savage, looking like Christopher Reeve's Clark Kent here) wins the lottery and puts the money towards a biology class field trip that yields some surprising experiments in human sexuality. Savage celebrates his good fortune with students Ali Moore and Tracy Adams, while the rest of his class does some "exploring" in the woods before returning to the dorm for a well-done group scene.
The problems with Lottery Fever probably start with the title and go on from there. You might have expected a story about a million-dollar winner or perhaps a "jet set" spoof, but the use of a lottery as a framing device does nothing for the story. It could just as easily have been called "Field Trip." Patti Rhodes' script had a good premise, but she didn't follow through with it.
Also, the three leads (Savage, Moore and Adams) simply don't have their heart (or anything else) in their roles. To the film's credit, supporting players Randy West, Scott Irish and Melissa Melendez bring us natural feel to their performances (it's rare indeed when adult actors playing students actually look and talk like students!). The group finale is also a well-directed series of sexual encounters that combines "youthful abandon" with some steamy couplings and, unlike others of its ilk, makes it easy for the viewer to follow the action.
Okay, so Lottery Fever misses the jackpot. Like all dedicated players, though, we'll just count our losses and pick up another "ticket," hoping, always hoping, that next time we'll strike it rich.