The Bronze (2015)

The Bronze (2015)

Directed by: Brian Buckley
Written by: Melissa Rauch and Winston Rauch
Starring: Melissa Rauch, Gary Cole and Haley Lu Richardson
Rated: R
Run Time: 108 minutes
http://sonyclassics.com/thebronze/
Internet Movie Database (IMbD) link

It’s easier to write a review of a bad movie than a good movie … or even a mediocre one. That’s because there’s little nuance in a bad film to explore and explain. So reviewing “The Bronze” should be a snap. There are two special features of the movie that are hard to forget, even if one tries. But more about that later.

Comedian Melissa Rauch, (Dr. Bernadette Rostenkowski-Wolowitz on the CBS sitcom “The Big Bang Theory”) with her husband Winston Rauch (who actually changed his name to Rauch to match hers) wrote this comedy that has kernels of good ideas, but never coalesces into a decent or funny movie.

Hope Ann Greggory (Rauch) captured the heart of Americans as a gymnast in the Olympics ten years previous to the action of the movie, when she continued to perform despite a ruptured Achilles tendon and picked up the Bronze Medal. The injury ended her gymnastics career, and seems to have frozen her life in that victory moment. Her doting, long-widowed postal carrier Dad (Gary Cole) spoils her rotten. She still lives with him in a basement room decorated with her Olympic paraphernalia. And she still wears the ponytail and her Team USA gym suit from her glory days. The residents of her small town of Amherst, Ohio still treat her as a star, which translates into her scarfing down free food at the local mall. But she is far from her goody-goody teenaged self.

This is the first of the film’s special features: Hope sports the most disgustingly filthy mouth I’ve ever heard in a commercially released movie. If you want to hear rapid-fire exotic, smutty and lewd expletives and complete X-rated sentences, there is nothing like “The Bronze.” This is not an endorsement.

Maggie (Haley Lu Richardson) is the town’s much younger and more adorable gymnast, whose coach suddenly commits suicide. Hope is promised a $500,000 inheritance from the coach if Hope trains Maggie for the Olympics. Hope’s jealousy competes with her greed and involves more plot twists and turns. The local gym is run by Ben (Thomas Middleditch, HBO’s “Silicon Valley”) whose facial tics make him a less than traditional romantic hero, but he has a good heart, good enough to see some promise beneath Hope’s cold exterior.

And now we come to the second special feature of the movie: Hope has a long, raunchy and athletic sexual encounter with fellow gymnast Lance (Sebastian Stan). You won’t forget this scene, even if you try.

It’s too bad that “The Bronze” misses the mark, because the Rauchs developed a unique character and the movie had some funny moments.

By Emily S. Mendel
emilymendel@gmail.com
© Emily S. Mendel 2016 All Rights reserved

San Francisco ,
Emily S. Mendel, a writer and photographer, has been a regular contributor to culturevulture.net since 2006, where she reviews theater, art, film, television and destinations. Ending her 30-year law practice has given Ms. Mendel the time to indulge in her love of travel and the arts, and to serve as the theater reviewer for berkeleyside.com.