Shy 14-year-old Duncan goes on summer vacation with his mother, her overbearing boyfriend, and her boyfriend's daughter. Having a rough time fitting in, Duncan finds an unexpected friend in Owen, manager of the Water Wizz water park.
An English Professor tries to deal with his wife leaving him, the arrival of his editor who has been waiting for his book for seven years, and the various problems that his friends and associates involve him in.
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
New Providence High School in New Providence, New Jersey is featured in the film which happens to be co-writer Tom McCarthy's alma mater. See more »
When the team is on the bus heading to a match, they are going from their school in NJ to another school in NJ. However, the shot of the road they are driving down is in Rockville Centre, Long Island, NY (one of the admitted locations where the movie was filmed). In traveling from one school in NJ to another school in NJ, there would be absolutely no reason to pass through LI. 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 »
Written by Bryan Crouch, Joe Barlow, Drew Dockrill, Chad Richardson, Darryl Romphf and Alex Aligizakis
Performed by Hail the Villain
Courtesy of Roadrunner Records and Warner Music Canada 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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