Disheartened attorney Mike Flaherty (Giamatti), who moonlights as a high school wrestling coach, stumbles across a star athlete through some questionable business dealings while trying to support his family. Just as it looks like he will get a double payday, the boy's mother shows up fresh from rehab and flat broke, threatening to derail everything. Written by
Fox Searchlight Pictures
In the movie Kyle Timmons (Alex Shaffer) is shown to be a wrestler from Ohio who starts to compete in New Jersey in order to become state champion when in actuality he himself is a real New Jersey state wrestling champion. See more »
Mario's Pizzeria is a Long Island chain pizzeria and has no presence in New Jersey. See more »
[to the wrestling team]
Now, did you all see what Kyle did the other day? He exploded up, right? Kyle, show the guys what you did.
It's kind of my own thing.
Well, can you share it with us?
But it's not even a move or anything.
All right. Well, I just tell myself that the guy on top's tryin' to take my head and shove it under water and kill me, and if I don't wanna die on bottom, I have to do whatever the fuck it takes to get out.
[breaking a stunned silence]
Okay. So the move is "...
[...] See more »
Great characters looking for something in life and "Win Win" just might be that something
As in Thomas McCarthy's first film, "The Station Agent", there is an air of loneliness to the characters in "Win Win" but also with an ability to be kind and with a whole lot of humour permeating throughout. Mike (Paul Giamatti) is approaching a mid-life crisis; the monotony of daily life and money troubles colliding. But this is a well written film and it doesn't look or feel like a mid-life crisis.
Just as we get to know the characters exceedingly well (despite the short air time for some - Bobby Cannavale's Terry), a plot is introduced. Mike starts acting like a sleazy lawyer just to make some easy money, even though he's anything but a sleazy lawyer. Because he's a good guy, realities quickly catch up, and he starts taking responsibility for a troubled kid. Mostly trying to assuage his guilt of wrong-doing, but this kid happens to be a wrestling phenom and Mike is a struggling high school wrestling coach. This film could easily turn into an underdog sports story, but as I said before, this is a well written film and it doesn't look or feel like an underdog sports story.
I found "Win Win" to be a great mix of character study, a mid-life crisis, and an underdog sports story all rolled into something that isn't any of the above. It's a light, funny, enjoyable slice of life that could provide a few lessons on morality but stops itself before it becomes condescending.
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