Credit: Tiffany Laufer

The Bronze

Once upon a time, Hope Ann Gregory (The Big Bang Theory’s Melissa Rauch) brought triumph and glory to Team USA with a Hail Mary win at the World Gymnastic Championships, fighting through a foot injury to take the bronze while millions watched. Twelve years later, she’s still the pride of Amherst, Ohio: The local diner has a star-spangled parking spot with her name on it, and mall employees know to always comp her sneakers and Sbarro slices. She’s also a tiny tracksuited Mussolini who snorts crushed-up Claritin before breakfast, bullies her weed dealer, and berates her long-suffering dad (Gary Cole) for asking her not to steal petty cash from his postal route. The sudden death of her old coach, though, brings an opportunity: $500,000 to train another gymnast (a sunny-sweet Haley Lu Richardson) all the way to Worlds. With her scrunchied ponytail and crisp parabola of bangs, Rauch (who also cowrote the script) looks like a young Tonya Harding and talks like Triumph the Insult Comic Dog filtered through a flat Midwestern twang. The plot is beyond basic and the dialogue so crude it almost feels like an R-rated cartoon. Still, The Bronze has a loony Napoleon Dynamite–meets–Talladega Nights-on-the-balance-beam charm. Hope may be a giant jackass, but she’s America’s jackass. B

The Bronze
2016 movie
  • Movie
  • 100 minutes