Lay the Favorite

First Hit: Funny at times and Bruce Willis is the best part of this film.

Beth (played by Rebecca Hall) frustrated with her lackluster life, leaves for Las Vegas looking for dancing and money. What she ends up with, because she’s good with numbers, is working for a bookie named Dink (played by Bruce Willis).

Dink is married to Tulip (played by Catherine Zeta-Jones) who is a very high maintenance, strong, pushy, wife that demands attention and money. Rebecca becomes Dink’s good luck charm and he makes some good money with her as part of the business. But, as we all know, gambling isn’t about having a good luck charm and Dink goes sideways when he starts losing.

Rebecca starts to work for Dink’s close friend and fellow bookie Rosie (played by Vince Vaughn). She discovers that Rosie has some bad work habits and decides to try to go back to work for Dink.

This film has no point that hasn’t been tread before. It is about trust, it is about finding your swim lane, it is about being open, honest and truthful. To this end it is OK.

Hall is delightful to watch as is Willis, but Zeta-Jones character seemed telegraphed. Willis, it probably the best thing about this film as he does the wide swings of winning and losing bets, very well. Hall is nice, easy and joyful to watch. Her mistakes (as her character) or telegraphed and I saw myself giving eye-rolls toward the screen with some of her choices. Zeta-Jones was poorly directed, had a mediocre script, or just had an off day. Vaughn was Vaughn, which means he doesn’t really act, he’s just the perfect wise guy, always talking and sometimes the role fits him – this one does. D.V. DeVincentis wrote mediocre but somewhat adequate script. Stephen Frears directed this and got a good performance from Willis and Hall.

Overall: Lazy Sunday evening film because it won’t require much concentration.