[Screen It]


(2016) (Melissa Rauch, Gary Cole) (R)

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Comedy: A bitter and foul-mouthed, former Olympic bronze medalist gymnast must contend with a young competitor who could supplant her hometown celebrity, a development complicated by her becoming that teen's coach.
It's been more than a decade since Hope Greggory (MELISSA RAUCH) brought home a bronze Olympic medal to her hometown of Amherst, Ohio, and she doesn't let anyone forget about it. Always wearing her Olympic warm-up suit, she gets free meals and lots of adoration from the townsfolk. That is, except from her former trainer, Coach Pavleck (CHRISTINE ABRAHAMSEN), and fellow former gymnast Lance Tucker (SEBASTIAN STAN) who's lived in her celebrity shadow despite winning gold and silver himself, all due to her competing while injured and thus winning over the hearts and minds of America.

Despite that attention, she's a bitter, foul-mouthed and unemployed young woman who still lives at home with her postal carrier dad, Stan (GARY COLE), who puts up with her behavior, but would like for her to grow up finally. He seems to get the chance when Coach Pavleck commits suicide, followed by Stan reading a letter from her that states that if Hope becomes the coach to rising star gymnast Maggie Townsend (HALEY LU RICHARDSON) and gets her through the next eight weeks of training leading to team trials in Toronto, she'll receive $500,000 the coach put away for her, but can't tell anyone about it.

Both Maggie and her single mom, Janice (CECILY STRONG), are excited by the prospect of this new coaching arrangement, as is Ben Lawfort (THOMAS MIDDLEDITCH) who believes having a star around could save his financially strapped gym. And while the money sounds good to Hope, she doesn't want the young star to steal her fame and glory, and thus initially sets out to sabotage her success. But when Lance threatens to take Hope's coaching duties away from her and place Maggie with someone else, her competitive spirit kicks in. From that point on, she does what she can to get Maggie ready for the competition, all while softening up a bit to Ben's old-fashioned, romantic gestures toward her.

OUR TAKE: 3 or 4 out of 10
Coming soon. We didn't see this film until the night before it opened (it wasn't supposed to open as wide as it now has, and we originally were not going to review it). Long story short, it's not very good, and by the time it tries to redeem its main character (in a very predictable story and character arc from the get-go), it's too little too late as the damage is already done in terms of us not liking the abusive, mean-spirited protagonist. We'll get back to this, but need a break from all of the bad content material.

Reviewed March 17, 2016 / Posted March 18, 2016

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