Sunday, May 19, 2013

Lay the Favorite: Movie Review


Tried to turn an unbelievable true story into a fun ride but forgot about the stupidity.
“Lay the Favorite” has many dissenters, most complaining that it’s completely unbelievable. It’s true, it is. Beth (Rebecca Hall) is a ditzy bimbo who quits her job as a stripper and moves to Las Vegas to become a cocktail waitress. A great idea! (Sarcasm). Instead, as soon as she arrives, she gets a very lucrative job as a sports bettor for a bookie who isn’t a bookie since bookmaking is illegal. Apparently, she’s a genius with numbers and words. 2012

Directed by: Stephen Frears

Screenplay by: D.V. DeVincentis

Starring: Rebecca Hall, Bruce Willis, Joshua Jackson, Catherine Zeta-Jones

She’s also capable of getting guys to do whatever they think she wants. They need to do the thinking since she’s too dumb to even know what she wants. The kicker to this story of an over-sexed, ditzy bimbo, numbers genius, sports-betting millionaire, is that it’s a true story. I decided to watch the YouTube video of the real Beth Raymer reading from her memoir which this film is based on to see if Hall accurately captured her varying characteristics. And she did. She does the hair twirl and the dumb girl giggle as she describes the kings of sports gambling giving her job after job after job.

I’m one of the few who liked Rebecca Hall in this. So different from her usual indie fare. She has to ooze sex and play beautiful even though she has never really been described that way before. But in order to like this movie at all, you need to care about this floozy. Other than her ridiculous free ride through life, nothing really interesting happens to her.

Her first job in Vegas is with Dink (Bruce Willis) who owns Dink Inc. She loves him, he loves her … mind? Yeah, right. Apparently he does. So when she gets herself in trouble along with a nice, smart successful guy (Joshua Jackson) who doesn’t seem to mind throwing his life away for her, he comes to the rescue.

Personally, I found Hall’s sexy naiveté and Willis’ extreme gambling entertaining enough to keep watching. However, the movie doesn’t seem to play the unfortunate reality that this is a true story for laughs. When there’s a story too unbelievable to be true then you should be making fun of everybody who allowed it to occur, instead the film just wanted the audience to go along for a fun ride. These characters didn't deserve a fun ride, and they don't really deserve an audience. “Lay the Favorite” is somewhat fun, it’s also very unbelievable, and ultimately, pretty stupid.

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Pain & Gain (2013) - Not much action, but there is comedy as muscleheads set off to achieve the American dream.