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What Can We Learn From Movies Like Uncut Gems?


 Anytime Adam Sandler drama film, I get a little wary. 

That said this one was actually really good. And I guess, to be fair, it is more of a dark comedy and crime flick than legitimate drama. Perhaps we should call it a dramedy? That said, it has a 7.4 of 10 IMBd rating and 92% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 91% on Metacritic. So, pretty solid all around. 

Uncut Gems stars Adam Sandler, Julia Fox, Kevin Garnett, Idina Menzel, Judd Hirsch, LaKeith Stanfield, and Eric Bogosian. The movie blurb sells the film as: “A charismatic jeweler makes a high-stakes bet that could lead to the windfall of a lifetime. In a precarious high-wire act, he must balance business, family, and adversaries on all sides in pursuit of the ultimate win.’

What can we learn from a film like Uncut Gems?

Don’t Ever Loan Valuable Items

A friend of mine a long time ago gave me a nugget of sage advice. He said, “don’t ever loan money or anything of value to anyone who’s ass you can’t kick.” He went on to say unless it’s something that you don’t really care about. But I think that’s where the keyword ‘valuable’ qualifies his advice. 

Howard Ratner would not have gotten into the predicament, bot the up and downside of it all, had he not loaned the priceless black opal. It’s basically the equivalent of a blood diamond, as the film opens with Ethiopian minors who get injured, yet find this amazing black opal … which ends up as the centerpiece of the plot.

I am getting off track with the plot and setup, but the point is neither Howard Ratner nor Adam Sandler could kick Kevin Garnett’s ass. I doubt he’d be able to beat up LaKeith Stanfield … so therein lies the problem. Don’t loan priceless gems to people who have more grit than you.

Don’t Place Bets With Shady Loan Sharks …

… Even if they are long-time family friends or your brother-in-law. Just use a normal, trusted online sportsbook where you actually get attractive signup bonuses and everything. The problem with mini-mob-boss type guys is even if they are your friend, they probably have people around them who most definitely are not your friend; people who are the definition of sociopaths. They might not necessarily be evil, but they could care less whether you live or die. For them, you are either a tool that helps them get what they need or an obstacle in their path. 

Sports betting is expanding with legal operations popping up all over the United States. There is no longer a need to make shady back-alley bets; just do it online. 

Don’t Rob Peter to Pay Paul

Robbing Peter to pay Paul almost never works out. In this case, it gets even more confounded. Howard is into his brother-in-law, Arno, for 100,000 dollars of debt. He makes a bet that would net him $600,000.00, but unbeknownst to Howard, Arno put a stop to the bet because he made it using cash that should have gone to Arno in the first place. So, his bet ticket was never actually placed, and his winning bet is out the window. Later, Howard gets his father in law to bid on the Opal at an action that Howard had already committed to driving the price up. But Kevin Garnett doesn’t outbid his father-in-law, and now he’s in another Peter-Paul situation with his wife’s dad. 

He learns that KG is still willing to buy the black opal, but instead of handing the cash over to Arno and his thugs, he sends Julia (his girlfriend) off to place a three-way player prop parlay on Garnett. He ends up winning, but by this time, Arno’s thugs are so furious at the blatant disregard and inability to follow instructions that they kill Howard in a fit of rage. 

Lesson learned. Don’t rob Peter to pay Paul. In fact, just don’t borrow money to pay a debt. And do everything you can to pay your debts instead of skirting them while simultaneously taking on more debt. Whether it’s a credit company, a loan shark, or your mom, you’re going to piss some people off.

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The Movie Bit: What Can We Learn From Movies Like Uncut Gems?
What Can We Learn From Movies Like Uncut Gems?
The Movie Bit
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