The night before their high school graduation, Jessie and her friends are guided by a 'Find My iPhone' app to recover her lost device from a house whose demented tenants are hell bent on making her a flesh and blood member of the family.
Kirby Bliss Blanton,
Tim Lippe has no idea what he's in for when he's sent to Cedar Rapids, Iowa to represent his company at an annual insurance convention, where he soon finds himself under the "guidance" of three convention veterans.
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 »
I enjoy Royal Tenenbaums, Juno, and Little Miss Sunshine because they're about eccentric, witty people whose foibles are made less than tragic, their dialogue hypnotizes, and their personas seduce. Then comes Win Win, not as ingenious or innovative as those films but a winner in its own right because it embellishes little while it stays real and lovingly humane.
A little like my family and other interesting neighbors, Win Win has love to spare. Mike (Paul Giamatti) has a failing law practice, moonlights as a high school wrestling coach, and now becomes custodian of elderly Leo Poplar (Burt Young) because Mike needs the $1500 a month. Soon complication arrives with bleached blond Kyle (Alex Schaffer), Leo's grandson, who wants to live with Leo.
Mike is thus faced with more complications than he bargained for in the caretaker role, yet a bit of light shines through as he deals with the taciturn Kyle, who happens to be an excellent wrestler. Mike's relationship with his wife, Jackie (Amy Ryan), is rich with respect between both and patience on her part as she helps Mike through his ethical challenge and his guidance of Kyle.
Nothing comes easy in this dramedy, as it doesn't for most of us, but the beauty of this film is that it slowly works out all the kinks of life in a slowly distributed narrative with triumphs and setbacks that seem to come naturally. Because the central characters are loving and largely benign, the film has an easy, unforced quality.
Terry (Bobby Cannavale) is especially likable as Mike's old wrestling buddy, recently split from his wife, and full of energy to channel as assistant coach helping with their new wrestling star. Cannavale brings an easy charm to the film; he's an enjoyable foil for the schlubby, depressive Giammatti.
Although a few swear words, mostly "f bombs," are dotted in the dialogue, it is essentially a family where the characters live to love.
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