The Bronze isn’t for everyone. And those loving the work of Melissa Rauch of The Big Bang Theory may find this performance — um — a little different. Language for one. Sociopath tendencies for another.
She plays Hope Greggory, who suffered a catastrophic injury in the Olympic game, and through sheer, grit, guts and determination, won a bronze medal. The games are long past and the self-absorbed Hope lives in Amherst, Ohio. She’s the city’s claim to fame, has her own private parking space downtown and pays for nothing.
The drug-addled Hope is depressed, still wears her Olympic sweats everyday, and on a budget from her doting dad — played nicely by Gary Cole — Hope supplements her income by stealing money from letters in his postal service van. A potential windfall comes her way when her deceased former coach leaves her a fortune if she’ll train Amherst’s next potential Olympic game gymnast.
The movie totally belongs to the tiny, helium-high voiced Rauch, who co-wrote this with her husband Winston Beigel. One of my all-time favorite movie characters is Billy Bob Thornton’s Bad Santa. Rauch’s profanity-laced, egocentric Hope rivals that performance. She’s wonderfully outrageous and has a total blast with her own material.
Two points. If you loved Bad Santa, you’ll love The Bronze. Second, it’s produced by Mark and Jay Duplass, who rarely produce anything mainstream. That said, this is a terrific movie, and I laughed out loud all the way through. If quirky is your thing, this one rules.
Director: Bryan Buckley
Stars: Melissa Rauch, Gary Cole, Thomas Middleditch, Sebastian Stan, Haley Lu Richardson
Rated R for mature themes, language, nudity. It’s playing at the Carmike 12.
Mr. Movie rating: 4 1/2 stars
5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen.
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it’s your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don’t bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.