By Mike Bruno
Updated May 21, 2010 at 01:22 PM EDT
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The trailer for Love Ranch, which stars Helen Mirren and Joe Pesci as a couple fighting to establish a legal brothel in Nevada, is now online after debuting at Cannes this week. The first thing that struck me — after a GILFy admiration for Mirren’s down-home American twang — was how good it is to see Pesci in a leading role. Amazingly, 1998’s Lethal Weapon 4 was the last time Pesci starred in something (though he did have a small role in 2004’s Good Shepherd). It’s not surprising director Taylor Hackford (Ray, Officer and a Gentleman), Mirren’s husband, picked Pesci for a Nevada-based role involving booze, sex, cash, and cracking skulls. The trailer even starts out on a rather Casino-like vibe, Pesci patting hookers’ behinds with a little Foghat boogie playing behind him. There’s a lot going on in this inspired-by-real-events tale, which apparently involves a South American boxer who falls for the much-older Mirren, a resulting love triangle, a political battle over prostitution, and Bai Ling. I’m more into the sweaty, classic-rock start of the spot than the dramatic You’re my wife…. I’m your business partner, that’s all I’ve ever really been stuff at the end. But there’s too much talent here for me not to give Hackford and these two actors the benefit of the doubt. Mark me down as intrigued.

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