Synopsis by Mark Deming
In this crime drama with comic overtones, Tanya (Lara Flynn Boyle) is a barmaid who works at a sleazy tavern, while her husband Henry (Luca Bercovici), a one-time baseball player sidelined by a knee injury, divides his time between praying at home and praying at a Catholic mission. Henry is supposed to receive an insurance settlement for his injury, but at the moment Tanya's low-pay/high-stress job is the household's sole means of support. When she discovers that Henry has already been sent a $130,000 settlement, which is now sitting in his bank account, he claims that the money is cursed, and he doesn't want her to have any. Predictably, Tanya doesn't share this superstition; when he hits her in the ensuing argument, Tanya walks out. Before long, she meets Benny (Benny O'Malley), a would-be card shark and con man who agrees to help Tanya get some of the money away from Henry. Posing as a representative of the mission, Benny intends to ask Henry to help them pay for some repairs that cost, oh, about $130,000; to reinforce his scheme, he and a friend fabricate a miracle on the mission's grounds involving a tree that grows incredibly fast. The theatrical release of The Big Squeeze ran 98 minutes; the version released on home video added another 7 minutes of footage.
athlete, barmaid, injury, insurance-settlement, mission [religious], money, prayer