Thursday, March 17, 2016

No medal for this profane comedy

A classic one-joke movie, The Bronze offers a few chuckles, but can't overcome the unpleasantness of its main character, a one-time Olympic gymnast (Melissa Rauch) whose career stalled with a Bronze medal. Years later, Rauch's Hope Ann Greggory has become an embittered, profanity-spewing woman whose personality is stuck in adolescence, complete with an ever-present pony tale, carefully arranged bangs and a refusal to wear anything but her Olympic warmup suit. Working from a script co-written by Rauch and her husband Winston, director Bryan Buckley seldom gets past a stream of profane humor delivered by Rauch in clipped staccato bursts. The joke, of course, is that Hope Ann Greggory looks like a pert cheerleader, but curses like an unrepentant sailor. Unable to move on with her life, Hope lives with her father (Gary Cole), a mailman who tolerates her massively annoying assaults. The story shifts gears when Hope is asked to train a rising star (Haley Lu Richardson). Thomas Middleditch plays the owner of the aging gym where Hope trains Richardson's character; Sebastian Stan portrays the egotistical coach of the US women's gymnastics team. A sex scene staged like a gymnastic routine serves as a comic high point, but the movie ultimately does precisely what you expect; it sells out its nasty side for a bit of soggy redemption. The Bronze might have worked as a skit, but can't make the cut as a movie.

No comments: