Friday, April 8, 2011

Movie Review: "Win Win" is Totally #Winning

One of the best parts of living in a bigger city is the chance to catch advanced screenings of movies before they are released.  Not every film is a sneak peek, and certainly not every one we've watched has been a blockbuster, but it's always fun to go to the movies for free.

We got to catch a screening of Win Win the other day and it's one of the few we'd recommend as a #winner (and yes, we just paid homage to Charlie).  The movie's tagline says it all:  In the game of life, you can't lose 'em all.

Position of Advantage!
The storyline revolves around struggling New Jersey attorney Mike Flaherty (played by Paul Giamatti).  Flaherty moonlights as a wrestling coach for one of the worst teams in the state.  When one of his elderly clients needs legal help, Flaherty realizes he's in a win/win situation when he stumbles across the client's grandson, a troubled teen star wrestler named Kyle (played by Alex Shaffer).  His coaching partner Stephen Vigman (Jeffrey Tambor) and buddy high school Terry Delfino (Bobby Cannavale) help set the stage for a winning wrestling team.  

But things naturally fall apart when the kid's mom (played by Melanie Lynskey) shows up, flat broke and out of rehab, with a plan of her own.

Sitting in the audience waiting for the movie to roll, we noticed a strong scent of Tag and Axe Body more than the normal amount lofting around movie theaters filled with teenagers.  It didn't take long to figure out why.  The theater had invited several local high school wrestling teams to the screening!  Several of the coaches got up and spoke about the local programs and it was pretty cool to see the kids excited about a movie that wasn't wall to wall with special effects.

Win Win premiered at Sundance in January and is now in theaters in limited release.  While we didn't have a lot of knowledge about high school wrestling before we saw it, (and justifiably so...Arkansas only recently adapted wrestling into high school programs and Mississippi is the only state that doesn't have it) it was defiantly a great storyline with engaging characters and kept us guessing at how it would end.  It's hard to say that Win Win is anything but a winner!

Check out the trailer if you're not convinced:

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