I am at my second Sundance Film Festival. These are my reviews.
DIRECTOR: Bryan Buckley
SCREENWRITERS: Melissa Rauch, Winston Rauch
PRINCIPAL CAST: Melissa Rauch, Gary Cole, Thomas Middleditch,
Sebastian Stan, Haley Lu Richardson, Cecily Strong
U.S.A., 2015, 104 min., color
Plot (courtesy of Sundance): In 2004, Hope Ann Greggory became an American hero after winning the bronze medal for the women’s gymnastics team. Today, she’s still living in her small hometown, washed-up and embittered. Stuck in the past, Hope must reassess her life when a promising young gymnast threatens her local celebrity status.
Review: There is one note in The Bronze, and it is played over and over again. In the Rome 2004 Olympics, fictional character Hope (Rauch) overcomes an injury to win a bronze medal. She’s idealized by the media and her small town. Now, years later she’s in denial of being a has been. Hope is insanely rude and ridiculously foul-mouthed to anyone who doesn’t worship her, she’s also insanely rude and ridiculously foul-mouthed to anyone who worships her. Have you discovered the note yet? She’s rude.
Sadly, the joke of Hope makes it nearly impossible to feel anything toward her, and the jokes/language/rap music/sex talk only results in genuine laughs about 10 percent of the time. It’s the “Adam Sandler issue” with the character barely changing, and more importantly why would anyone tolerate them in the first place?
It’s a film that desperately needs to be 85 minutes, focus on the decent ensemble (like Cole and Strong), and give a better look into the world of gymnastics. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll laugh, but you’ll be waiting to laugh more often than not. Unfortunately, The Bronze isn’t medal worthy.