Hey, it’s Bernadette from the TV show BIG BANG THEORY! It actually took me a second to realize that the actress on the poster was Melissa Rauch. But in any case, I was first made aware of this movie about a week ago when the movie was a private screening for some folks. I wasn’t aware of the details for this particular event, only the movie that was being featured to them. But when I was made aware that the movie was actually going to be released in the theatre, I went to Youtube to check out the trailer. I was not impressed. It didn’t seem funny, or even particularly interesting. But Rauch is funny, and a fine actress in her own right, surly it couldn’t so bad. Was it? Well, here’s my honest opinion of THE BRONZE.
Hope Ann Gregory (Melissa Rauch) was an Olympic gymnast in her youth. Despite suffering an injury, she managed to still win a bronze medal. Despite her victory, though, her injury left unable to compete ever again. Disgruntled by this, she grew up bitter and lives off of her small town celebrity status, pretty much getting whatever she wants. But her world is shaken when her former coach dies and leaves her a will that states if Hope can train her coach’s new protégé, Maggie (Haley Lu Richardson), who has enough talent to go to the Olympics and is even becoming a celebrity in her own right as well. Although Hope has no interest in training this peppy young hopeful, she’s convinced to coach her with the promise of 500,000 dollars. However, due to her feeling threatened by Maggie’s talent and potential overshadowing her in celebrity status, she decides to sabotage her training instead.
I had no idea…
This movie follows one of the most unlikable characters I’ve ever seen since ANOMALISA. All Hope does is walk around treating literally everyone she comes in contact with like shit, including her own loving father, Stan, played by Gary Cole. What a spoiled fucking bitch. Where’s the comedy in this? It’s like watching Cartman in the TV show SOUTH PARK. There’s no redeeming value to a character who acts so disrespectful to everyone for no reason. To make matters worse… she literally gets everything that she wants FOR FREE. She wants a free meal at a fast food joint? She gets it. She wants a free pair of expensive shoes? No problem! What world is this?! I don’t care how popular you are. In reality, no one would happily take it up the ass like this.
To make matters even worse, her dad is a mailman and Hope will loot through the mail in his truck and steal money from cards, getting him in trouble at work, potentially fired. But it’s hard to feel bad for him because not only does he do absolutely nothing about her shitty attitude, no repercussions, no discipline, nothing. And he knows about her theft! She’s done it before, he knew, and he only now decides to chain the door and prevent her from committing a federal crime! Any normal parent would have kicked this bitch out on her ass faster than the speed of light!
And for some reason, she’s seen as attractive by the character Twitchy, played by Thomas Middleditch. There is no reason for this, as he’s treated just as crappy as everyone else Hope comes in contact with. And like everyone else, it’s hard to feel sorry for him because he just takes it. She’s not subtle about how much of a bitch she is and there’s no arch to explain where he’s coming from with his feelings for her. Literally, at no point does she do anything to warrant it.
I suppose I should address the big selling point the cast alludes to: the sex scene. First of all, if your highest point in a movie is a sex scene that is supposed to be incredibly well choreographed, then your movie’s probably not very good. Second, the sex scene barely has anything to do with anything in the movie. A big reveal makes her depressed and she goes off to have a drink at a bar. Her rival Lance Tucker, played by Sebastian Stan, comes in and sits next to her. By this point in the story, Hope’s started a romantic fling with Twitchy that’s going well (somehow) and Maggie’s performing well in the Olympics. Lance is impressed with Hope’s training and offers her shots of tequila. This prompts them to go off to have sex, utilizing acrobatic moves to result in sexual positions. Every interview with the cast constantly calls it “one of the most unique sex scenes.” They are not wrong. It’s still not funny, or enjoyable. It doesn’t further the plot or ultimately do anything meaningful. Before you who might like the movie leap to its defense and tell me, “um, Daniel, Twitchy caught them having sex and he breaks up with her!” allow me to point you back to when I said, “anything meaningful.” Once again, Twitchy’s feelings for Hope aren’t warranted. She treats him like garbage even when the story thinks she’s evolving as a character, so there’s no investment into their relationship. Also, even Hope doesn’t appear too bothered by it until later with a bullshit apology that we can easily predict he will forgive her for. It’s formulaic third act bullshit that we’ve seen a thousand times.
Setting aside how fucked up every character is in this movie, the movie itself has a huge problem: tone. Oh yeah, if you looked at the trailer, it looks like a raunchy comedy. If you watch the movie though, there are scenes in which there’s a soft piano playing during a scene that the movie thinks is dramatic. However, it’s not dramatic. Hope is still acting like a twat and the scene is being played out like a comedy would, but the score doesn’t match the physicality of the actors or the dialog being spouted. This isn’t even just one scene, it’s many. This isn’t a dramedy, no matter how hard it’s trying… which isn’t very hard.
You know what this movie is? It’s a PSA to raise awareness of people with narcissistic personality disorder. Seriously, read this article and try to argue with me! Convince me that this isn’t who Hope is!
The insult of the movie comes from that Hope is the protagonist of the story and paraded around like her behavior is quirky and charming. This is not acceptable. While Hope doesn’t violently attack anyone, she’s most definitely abusive. I wasn’t aware of this at first, but Rauch and her husband Winston Rauch co-wrote this script. There is some serious explaining required here. There are real people out there who have experienced the receiving end of this shit and they don’t always come out unscathed, mentally or physically. I’ve met one and let me tell you, there was no light-heartedness in her voice. Lock yourself in a room with anyone with a similar life story and ask them if this movie is funny to them. I sure as fuck didn’t, and I’ve never been treated like this before, and yet I’m still worldly enough to know that this is a thing. I seriously hope that the Rauches are just completely oblivious to what their movie is and have never been educated on this matter. There is ZERO grasp of what comedy is in this thing. Keep me away from this garbage and I highly recommend you also do so.
My honest rating: 0/5