Limit Up

Who would have thought that someone could make a feature film about a subject as unsexy as soybeans and it could turn out to be as charming as this.

Limit Up stars cherubic Nancy Allen (who shifted from sexpot to Kewpie doll somewhere between Dressed to Kill and Robocop) as Casey Falls, a ”runner” on the floor of Chicago’s Midwest Grain Exchange, where traders, in a wild jitterbug of coded hand signals and general pandemonium, control the output of America’s No. 1 cash export: soybeans.

In a facetious bending of the Faust tale, Casey sells her soul to a delegate from the devil (Danitra Vance, in a role undoubtedly written for Whoopi Goldberg), and soon is rolling in high-protein dough.

If you’re thinking of stopping here because you’ve heard this before, don’t. Limit Up may have an oddly misleading title (”limit up” is commodity-trader jargon indicating prices are frozen and trading has stopped), but it’s really a splendid comedy with just enough corkscrew turns and wry jokes to make this faux Faust pretty sprightly.

All the elements are here: good cast, good script, tidy direction, and an ending that’s sunny but not so much that it will make skeptics gag. And Allen is particularly delightful as the ambitious trader forced to make a tough decision when her marker comes due. Also, look for Ray Charles in a small but significant role and a cameo by Sally Kellerman.

Limit Up
  • Movie