The Bronze

The Bronze

2016, R, 108 min. Directed by Bryan Buckley. Starring Melissa Rauch, Gary Cole, Haley Lu Richardson, Thomas Middleditch, Sebastian Stan, Cecily Strong, Dale Raoul.

REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., March 18, 2016

Ten years ago, Hope Ann Greggory (Rauch), a petite gymnast who captured third place at the 2004 Olympics while performing on an injured Achilles heel, was America’s sweetheart. Afterward, her injury impeded further competition, and now 10 years later, she hangs on tenaciously to her former glory as Amherst, Ohio’s most famous citizen. Every day, she wears her red-white-and-blue warmup suit and her hair pulled into a ponytail with a scrunchie as she goes about her rounds, collecting free milkshakes and other equivalent tokens of her status at the local mall, diner, and other shops. She lives with her enabling dad (Cole) in the basement of her childhood home, and steadfastly refuses to move on with her life. And, also, she has the foulest mouth this side of Sam Jackson in a Tarantino movie. Nobody could be said to enjoy her company.

The Bronze stars a perfectly cast Melissa Rauch (best known as Bernadette on The Big Bang Theory), who co-wrote the screenplay with her husband Winston Rauch. It’s a great example of how to find a screenplay suited to your abilities: Write it yourself. However, a little of The Bronze goes a long way. The constant vulgarity grows tiresome, and Hope Ann’s redemption path is strewn with stinky banana peels. Everything is done in extremes, and there’s no modulation of character or plot (which makes the one sex scene almost unendurable). This comedy has a few genuine laughs, but The Bronze never even comes close to making it to qualifiers.

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The Bronze, Bryan Buckley, Melissa Rauch, Gary Cole, Haley Lu Richardson, Thomas Middleditch, Sebastian Stan, Cecily Strong, Dale Raoul

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