Director: Bryan Buckley
Stage 6 Films/Duplass Brothers Productions/Sony Pictures Classics
The Big Bang Theory’s Melissa Rauch here co-writes and stars as Hope Ann Gregory, a nasty, big-headed, hobbled athlete that won the titular bronze medal at the Olympics and has been trading on a name/fame in Smalltown, Anywheresville; US ever since. She’s a ghastly comic character, a grotesque that manages to stick the landing through a Palin-esque pointy accent and potty-mouth.
It’s intentionally over the top, Talladega Nights-styled. In fact both films share not only yet another sly turn from character-acting master, Gary Cole, but also a rewatch policy; you could be forgiven for missing the humour the first time around – and admittedly that’s mostly because it’s so stupid. The irony being that when you trowel something on so thickly it can sometimes be ignored somehow.
Hope Ann’s picked-on but frustrated father just wants her to change out of her gym clothes and get a job. Hope Ann’s entitlement – for finishing third with a career-ending injury – is unfathomable to most. And her cruelty is cold. She’s thrown a lifeline by training the new up and comer but schemes and sabotages her way to the middle rather than aiming for the top.
I couldn’t actually recommend The Bronze to anyone. It’s the cult stuff where a small batch of fans will dig it and so many others will wonder why they wasted their time. And if telling you that I sometimes howled like a hyena ends up offering more about myself than the film well so be it.