In “The Cooler” he uses this ability to bring to life the character of Bernie Lootz, a man so unlucky that he is working as a “cooler” in an old established gambling casino in Las Vegas, which is just about to change from the mob controlled town of the 1960’s and 70’s, to the corporate “glitz” which it has become. No one is more unhappy about this than Bernie’s boss, Shelly Kaplow, played by Alec Baldwin, who, along with Bernie, has been in Vegas from the beginning. And, in the process, the old adage “Lucky at cards, unlucky in love” gets turned upside down in this understated film about life, luck and love.
Of course, this new found confidence makes him a liability for Shelly, as all the people in the casino start to win. When Bernie’s long estranged son Mikey shows up with his “pregnant” girlfriend in tow, Bernie gives him some money to get on his feet. The son uses that money to cheat at the casino, causing Shelly to re-act in the expected way. He is going to have him killed. This puts Bernie at odds with Shelly, who has already realized that Bernie’s luck has changed, making him unnecessary to Shelly any longer.
Note: IMDB lists the release date of this film as 2003,; however, the DVD shows the release date to be 2004. I have chosen to use the date on the DVD.