A Vegas road trip goes awry in the genial but clichéd Sparkler, in which three broke L.A. housemates seek a jackpot that will cover several months of unpaid rent. One (Freddie Prinze Jr.) is a would-be talent agent, cocksure and snide, even though he’s stuck working in the mail room; the others (Steven Petrarca and Jamie Kennedy) are unemployed and feeling hopeless. When they meet a local woman (Park Overall) who loves kitschy home decorations and magazine sweepstakes, and a trashy stripper (Veronica Cartwright), their luck begins to change. They— and the movie— gradually loosen up and lose their smugness. Though the movie was Jawbreaker director Darren Stein’s industry calling card, it should serve as a reminder that its two likable leading women deserve to be seen in more remarkable films than this.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on March 16, 1999