Indie Edges Sanded Down Completely in Win Win

Paul Giamatti continues contemporary cinema’s longest pre-midlife crisis in Win Win as Mike, yet another schlubby fortysomething flummoxed by mundane personal problems. Mike is the coach of the county’s worst high school wrestling team, and his failing small-town law practice has accrued a mountain of debt, which he’s too chicken-shit to reveal to his no-nonsense, improbably hot wife (Amy Ryan). When he spots an opportunity to make some extra cash by taking care of elderly, senile client Leo (Burt Young), he grabs it. This works out great until Leo’s burnout grandson, Kyle (Alex Shaffer), runs away from his deadbeat mom and shows up looking for a place to crash. Mike takes Kyle in—only to discover that this presumed bad seed is actually a wrestling phenom. And so a limp but at least vaguely topical recession comedy turns into a faint Xerox of standard Sundance pap, in which a weirdo outsider gives a struggling family renewed reason to live through a series of contrived conflicts—none of them so serious that they can’t be fixed with a downbeat confessional concluding with a well-timed “I love you.” A “quirky” dramedy in the Juno/Little Miss Sunshine mode, but lacking the latter’s vibrant ensemble and the former’s snappy patter, Win Win is indie with the edges sanded down completely.

 
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5 comments
Matter of Fact Jim
Matter of Fact Jim

I'm going to have to agree with all the other commenters. The review just sounds hateful and snobby. This is a great little film. It has heart and tries to be honest. Giamatti and Ryan are great and the kid Schaffer is amazing and he's a non-actor. Also, I completely disagree that this film is at all related to Juno or Little Miss Sunshine. Those movies tried to be witty in a snobbish way. The problems and "quirks" of their characters were exploited for "indie laughs". This movie instead treats it's characters with more humanity and realism. It's actually a lot less quirky and hipster and so will therefore not get certain accolades those films got but you are way, way off base lumping it in with them. Sure, it is a little contrived but it clearly loves and respects its characters.

Keaton G Wanninger
Keaton G Wanninger

Wow, this is the worst review I have ever read. Congratulations! you managed to summarize and spoil the entire movie while sounding like like a snobby bitch. How are you employed? See this film, It is easily one of the best films of the year.

David J Swift
David J Swift

An extraordinary movie.

A vicous, troubling review.

Dippydup
Dippydup

are you fucking retarded?

This isnt a review, its more like a youtube comment for a movie.

I can't believe you pay this stupid bitch for this dumb shit.

Admiral
Admiral

What a clueless review!"Renewed reason to live through a series of contrived conflicts"? "Lacking snappy patter"? "A faint Xerox of standard Sundance pop"? You're wildly off-target. Quit looking for silly comparisons and easy pigeonholes and see this excellently crafted, profound film again.

 

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