Saturday, January 24, 2015

The Bronze (2015)

Director: Bryan Buckley

Writers: Melissa Rauch, Winston Rauch

Composer: ???

Starring: Melissa Rauch, Gary Cole, Haley Lu Richardson, Thomas Middleditch, Sebastian Shaw, Cecily Strong, Dale Raoul

More info: IMDB

Plot: In 2004, Hope Ann Greggory became an American hero after winning the bronze medal for the women's gymnastics team. Today, she's living in her father's basement in her small hometown—washed up, largely forgotten, and embittered. Stuck in her past glory, Hope is forced to reassess her life when a promising young gymnast who idolizes her threatens her local celebrity status. Will she mentor the adoring, hopeful protégé, take her down, or both?

My rating: 9/10

Will I watch it again? YES!!!

I caught this at the world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival last Thursday night and I about lost my shit from laughing so hard.  The opening scene (no spoilers) sets the outrageous tone for the film and it is stupendously raunchy and funny as hell.  If that first scene doesn't make you laugh out loud then you should probably just walk away.  Hope (Melissa Rauch) is such a shit to EVERYONE that it's no surprise that the only friend in the world she has is her father, Stan (Gary Cole) and even his patience is wearing thin but you know he'll always be there for her regardless.  The cast is outstanding.  Really.  Haley Lu Richardson (as Hope's protege, Maggie) is so adorably likable that there's no reason to think she won't go anywhere in this industry but up.  She's delightful and the perfect opposite of Hope.  Thomas Middleditch fits his role of Ben, the co-owner of the gymnastics studio and burgeoning love interest of Hope (if that's even possible but it is).  And Sebastian Stan is hilarious as the good-looking former two time Olympic winner who has a history with Hope and is on track to steal Maggie away from her and get him into the spotlight.  There are too many actors to name that do a splendid job but these five are the ones we follow throughout the picture. 

It can't be said enough how raunchy and wrong (in the right way) Hope is.  Her personality is black but in that way that allows you to laugh and cringe at the same time.  When you break the story down to its basic elements, there's nothing all that new about it.  But it's how director Buckley handles it, the VERY funny script by Melissa and her husband Winston and the aforementioned talent in front of the camera that breathes severely entertaining life into a tired and reliable trope found in most sports movies.  There's a scene were two gymnasts get it on but in the way your wildest dreams would suggest considering their profession.  It's a close second to TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE (2004) for being the funniest sex scene ever filmed.  WOW!  Tears, man, tears from laughing so hard.  The funny runs from start to finish and I do mean finish.  Listen to the lyrics Melissa sings in the closing credits song.  In the Q&A after the film (in the video above), they explain that Winston wrote the lyrics on the drive to the recording studio as they had just been informed that Melissa was invited to sing on the track.  It works beautifully and it's a great way to end one truly funny, FUNNY movie.  The worst part of seeing it this early is having to wait to buy it so I can see it again but more importantly turn my friends onto it and look like a rock star for doing it. 

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