The Bronze

Hope is a local celebrity in Amherst, Ohio. She won the bronze medal in the Summer Olympics and after a career ending accident, Hope continues to live off her fame as long as she can.

Release Date: March 18, 2016
Writer: Melissa Rauch, Winston Rauch
Director: Bryan Buckley
Cast: Melissa Rauch, Gary Cole, Haley Lu Richardson, Sebastian Stan, Thomas Middleditch

The Bronze is a tough tale to tell, especially when the main character is so unlikable at the beginning of the movie. It also doesn’t help that she’s in every scene in the movie too. Writers Melissa and Winston Rauch are up for the task. The path of the film is easy, how to make an unlikable character likable in a way that feels real and is not heavy on the schmaltz.

Melissa Rausch does an excellent job fleshing out the character of Hope. She starts as a self-centered, manipulative person, who feels entitled from the small town that continues to perpetuate her fame. Hope lies, cheats and steals to get whatever she wants. The only person, who loves her is her father (Gary Cole), who believe that he is the reason Hope is the way she is.

Hope’s comfortable lifestyle is close to an end. Her father does not have the money to support her lifestyle. Hope has no motivation to grow-up both emotionally and mentally. Soon, the other shoe is about to drop, when a promising new gymnastics star is about to eclipse Hope’s Olympic accomplishments. This gymnast is Maggie (Haley Lu Richardson) and she is being trained by Hope’s former coach, Coach Pavleck (Christine Abrahamson).

Things change when Coach Pavleck commits suicide and sends her suicide note to Hope. The note states that Hope will receive $500,000, if she can take over the training of Maggie and, win or lose, complete her training.

There are many moments throughout The Bronze that I doubted Hope could change in a way that did not seem forced or cheeseball. The Bronze manages to pull through. Hope never loses her gruff, self-absorbed personality, but she does manages to change in small incremental moments. Haley Lu Richardson is perfect at the naïve and overly peppy student and even the quiet owner of the gym, Ben (Thomas Middleditch), comes off at the end as the strong hero to Hope.

If there is one complaint is that The Bronze is a solid story of redemption for Hope. Young girls will love the gymnastics angle and endear themselves to both Hope and her student, Maggie. The problem is the raunchy language littered throughout the movie and an incredibly hot and funny sex scene gave The Bronze a deserved R-rating. I don’t mean to be a prude but some scenes and language could have been toned down for a PG-13 rating and open the film to a broader audience.

The Bronze is a good story with funny moments. Melissa Rauch’s portrayal of Hope’s change throughout the film is perfect and the final moments will leave you feeling a little emotional.

7 out of 10 Stars

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