Late at night, a group of strangers find themselves in a little corner convenience store. Brown wastes no time introducing each character. Amir (Mousa Hussein Kraish), behind the counter, owns the store with his brother. Sterling (the late Angus Cloud) huddles over a magazine, looking extremely sketchy. Ana (Jessica Garza), hugely pregnant and still in her waitress uniform, stands by the ice cream freezer with her boyfriend Abraham (Elliot Knight) in a suit and tie from his gig playing piano at a mall. An off-duty security guard (Charlie Magdaleno) wanders the aisle. And finally, there’s Mr. Laird (Spencer Garrett) at the counter. We overhear all of these people having conversations. Everyone is talking about money. Mr. Laird balks at the price of what he’s buying, treating Amir disrespectfully before proclaiming, “I love small businesses.” Sure you do. He then buys a lottery ticket and promptly wins $156 million. Laird might be a cocky jerk, but he is also stupid because he makes an excited scene about how much money he just won. Everyone is visibly irritated. They all could use that money. Why did it have to be him?
Sterling is the only one who acts on the collective irritation. He demands Laird hand over the ticket. The confrontation intensifies. Amir loses control of his store. Ana and Abraham huddle over by the ice cream freezer. The security guard decides to be a hero. Shots are fired. They won’t be the last. From this moment forward, the fate of everyone in the store is sealed. They are no longer individuals; they are a collective embroiled in a situation spiraling out of control. Nothing unfolds according to plan. Sterling suddenly finds himself a hostage-taker, but he is no Sonny in “Dog Day Afternoon,” screaming “Attica! Attica!” to an enthusiastic crowd outside. He lacks the charm. He also didn’t count on his hostages rising to challenge him, to basically become his co-conspirators.
Let’s not forget everyone saw Mr. Laird win $156 million. The ticket is there for the taking. Everyone, including the SWAT team, who eventually gather outside, is after that ticket. It doesn’t matter who gets hurt in the process. The lure is too great. The script is very good, and the pacing is excellent. It almost plays out in real-time. One character has a “here is my backstory” monologue that feels unnecessary, the only time the film drags. What’s clear is that 99% of us are in the same boat when it comes to money. The characters’ problems in “Your Lucky Day” are not out-of-the-ordinary. Money isn’t everything, but it certainly isn’t nothing, not when you have mouths to feed, can’t afford rent, or don’t have health insurance. There is solidarity across differences when it comes to money. Solidarity here breaks down, though, because of Mr. Laird’s winning ticket.