Taglines: There’s no place like third.
A foul-mouthed former gymnastics bronze medalist must fight for her local celebrity status when a new young athlete’s star rises in town.
Catapulting herself into the public eye, “The Big Bang Theory’s” Melissa Rauch stars as Hope Ann Greggory, an Olympic has-been who’s ridden the celebrity of her third-place gymnastics medal about as far as it will take her. While commercial enough to go the distance, Rauch’s caustic character sketch feels similarly over-stretched, landing easy laughs over and over with the same joke: a twisted take on the sort of America’s sweetheart even Tonya Harding couldn’t tarnish.
A true gymnast would appreciate the virtually impossible balancing act of trying to make audiences like a character as unrepentantly self-absorbed as Hope, a pony-tailed blonde brat whom we meet masturbating to tape of her 2004 Olympics win — in which she snatched the bronze medal from the brink of a career-ending ankle injury. Not every actress can handle the task as expertly as, say, Reese Witherspoon did in “Legally Blonde”; nor could most directors sell Rauch’s relatively thin range as effectively as first-time helmer Bryan Buckley does. Here, the trick amounts to embracing just how off-putting the character’s love-to-hate personality can be.
The Bronze is an American comedy film directed by Bryan Buckley and written by Melissa Rauch and Winston Rauch. It was produced by Mark Duplass and Jay Duplass through their Duplass Brothers Productions banner. The film stars Melissa Rauch, Gary Cole, Thomas Middleditch, Sebastian Stan, Cecily Strong, Haley Lu Richardson and Dale Raoul. It had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 22, 2015. The film is scheduled to be released in a limited release on March 18, 2016, by Sony Pictures Classics.
Directed by: Bryan Buckley
Starring: Melissa Rauch, Gary Cole, Haley Lu Richardson, Thomas Middleditch, Sebastian Stan, Cecily Strong, Dale Raoul
Screenplay by: Melissa Rauch, Winston Rauch
Production Design by: David Skinner
Cinematography by: Scott Henriksen
Film Editing by: Jay Nelson
Costume Design by: Michelle Martini
Set Decoration by: Roxy Toporowych
Music by: Andrew Feltenstein, John Nau
MPAA Rating: R for strong sexual content, graphic nudity, language throughout and some drug use.
Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
Release Date: March 18, 2016