For the past 10 years Kari (Amy Madigan - Uncle Buck) has looked after her handicapped sister Allison (Chloe Webb) although her caring for her sister started much earlier on due to their mother Katherine (Olympia Dukakis - Steel Magnolias) being an alcoholic. It is why Kari has a deep felt resentment towards her mother even though her mother hasn't touched a drop in two years as she still feels that she doesn't care for her or Allison. But everything is brought to the head when Allison wins $2 million on a lottery scratcher as Kari and Katherine finds themselves at war over Allison.
"Lucky Day" is the sort of made for TV movie which is this wonderful mix of being obvious but with subtle depth. The obvious is that once the set up is in place of Allison winning a lot of money that the routine of life will be turned upside down. There is the effect of the money on Allison and Kari's simple existence but also it brings their mother more in to their life. And so of course this inevitably heats things up between Kari and Katherine as accusations fly.
But in many ways the beauty of "Lucky Day", and it is a beautiful movie, is reading between the lines. Early on we become very aware that Kari has no time for her mother and feels that she is unreliable and the knock on effect of this is Kari subtly tells Allison stories of their childhood where their mother was a bad guy. But you can elaborate on that as Kari's anger towards her mother is also protection against her own issues when it comes to her own relationships with others and her sister. It makes "Lucky Day" a far more interesting movie when you sort of stop watching to see what happens and analyse the reactions of the characters towards each other and how their own conflicts present themselves through those actions.
Now for this to work "Lucky Day" needs good actors and Amy Madigan is first rate as the bitter Kari who whilst caring for her sister has a whole lot of resentment boiling up inside. And then Olympia Dukakis brings this wonderful vulnerability to Katherine, that of a mother who on one hand is recovering from being an alcoholic but at the same time aware of her own flaws but with the two combined puts on a front to cover her fear of dealing with life.
What this all boils down to is that on the surface level "Lucky Day" is an okay movie which is pretty obvious. But when you stop to look at the characters, their conflicts and how that makes them react it becomes much more entertaining.