Everest Entertainment, Fox Searchlight Pictures, Groundswell Productions

Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan, Bobby Cannavale, Jeffrey Tambor, Burt Young, Melanie Lynskey, Alex Shaffer, Margo Martindale, David W. Thompson

Mike Flaherty (Paul Giamatti) is a part time wrestling coach and a down on his luck lawyer. Business is bad, and he’s in financial trouble. But Mike is hiding it from his wife. One of his only clients is an elderly man whose about to be made ward of the state and sent to a nursing home, but it turns out he has a lot of money. Mike’s idea is to become guardian of the man, and keep the money provided in his role of guardian. But suddenly Leo’s (Burt Young) grandson shows up, and it turns out he’s a great wrestler. Mike thinks it’s the perfect situation where he can also take in the grandson, keep the old man’s money, and put the grandson on the wrestling team, keep the office open, and his wife will be none the wiser. That is until the old man’s daughter, fresh out of rehab suddenly arrives to derail everything.

I’m getting to be a big fan of Paul Giamatti. In fact, ever since I first saw him as “Pig Virus” in the Howard Stern film “Private Parts” I’ve been a fan. But he seems to get better and better appearing in very quirky films. This is one of those. Mike is a nice guy, who’s trying to keep everything rolling. But he’s taking advantage of everyone in the process and being dishonest to everyone. Mike’s got to take a good look at his flaws and decide if it’s worth the effort to clean up his life. But at the same time, it’s really funny. There is such humor in Paul’s character. Everybody here has an agenda, and the interplay between the two assistant coaches is hilarious. Also Leo and his Mom Cleo (played brilliantly by Melanie Lynskey) are really good. Leo hates his mom because she’s never been there for him, and loved her drugs and drinks more. Now she’s still in it for herself. It’s a twisted feel good film, and is strong in values, but the mix of comedy makes it really unique. Yes, it’s quirky, but very good. I really enjoyed this film, and so it’s a Win-Win for the producers/actors, and the audience. 🙂

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog



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