×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

5 Reasons ‘The Bronze’ Could be a Breakout Comedy in 2015

The Sundance Film Festival got off to a raunchy start on Thursday night with the premiere of “The Bronze,” starring Melissa Rauch (“The Big Bang Theory”) as a washed-up Olympics gymnast. The R-rated comedy not only lived up to its pre-festival hype, it’s likely to start a bidding war in Park City. Here are five reasons why “The Bronze” could be a breakout comedy of 2015:

(1) Melissa Rauch Deserves a Gold Medal.
Rauch, who co-wrote the screenplay with her husband Winston, has never carried a film before. But she delivers the best breakthrough comedic performance by an actress since Melissa McCarthy in “Bridesmaids.” Her character Hope Annabelle Gregory, a bronze-medal winning Olympics gymnast from 2004 who can’t get her life together after an injury, is part Tracy Flick from “Election,” part Sue Sylvester from “Glee” and part Leslie Knope from “Parks and Recreation.” But Rauch makes the role fully her own. She carries the racy zingers (there are enough masturbation jokes to make Judd Apatow proud), as well as the vulnerable scenes (there’s a sweet romantic subplot with Thomas Middleditch). Despite her hard-edged exterior, Rauch molds Hope into a likeable underdog.

(2) It’s Got Girl Power.
Last year, Sundance opened with “Whiplash,” the male-centric drumming drama. In some ways, “The Bronze” feels like the female answer to that. As Hope tries to escape her deadbeat existence, she starts training a young athlete named Maggie Townsend (the excellent Haley Lu Richardson), and she drags her through the same hellish hazing routine that J.K. Simmons inflicted on Miles Teller. But the material feels like it has more mainstream potential. In the right studio’s hands, “The Bronze” could be a commercial hit.

Popular on Variety

(3) That Sex Scene.
In a moment that will give “Fifty Shades of Grey” a run for its money, one of the best gags in the film takes place in the bedroom, during a heated night between Hope and her arch-nemesis Lance Tucker (Sebastian Stan). At a Q&A after the film, Rauch said that she used a body double for the scene, but Stan did not. “I was happy to do it,” the actor admitted.

(4) The Dialogue.
The pre-festival comparisons of “The Bronze” to “Napoleon Dynamite” turned out to be accurate. This is a film that will be quoted by its diehard fans. And it gets bonus points for its soundtrack, which makes the best use of an Ace of Bass song in gymnastics history.

(5) The Rap at the End.
Rauch belts it over the credits, and it’s deliciously lewd. Is it too early to nominate a contender for best song at next year’s Oscars?

More Film

  • Richard Jewell

    Box Office: Clint Eastwood Suffers Worst Opening in Four Decades With 'Richard Jewell'

    Clint Eastwood might end up with a lump of box office coal after “Richard Jewell” sputtered in its domestic debut. Despite critical acclaim, Warner Bros.’ drama about the security guard falsely accused by the media for playing a part in the 1996 Olympics bombing ignited with a dismal $5 million from 2,502 theaters. It’s a [...]

  • (from left) Tom (Henry Golding) and

    Emilia Clarke's 'Last Christmas' Crosses $100 Million at Global Box Office

    Universal’s “Last Christmas,” a romantic comedy starring Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding, surpassed $100 million in global ticket sales. The milestone is a win for original fare, one that is especially impressive considering the movie was skewered by critics for its wacky twist ending. After six weeks in theaters, “Last Christmas” has earned $34.4 million [...]

  • DSCF0855.RAF

    'Jumanji 2' Rules Overseas Box Office With $85 Million

    Sony’s “Jumanji: The Next Level” powered international box office charts, collecting $85 million from 34 markets over the weekend. The action-packed sequel kicked off in North America with $60 million for a global start of $145 million. “Jumanji: The Next Level” debuted in a handful of foreign territories last weekend, bringing box office receipts to [...]

  • Rey (Daisy Ridley) in STAR WARS:

    Disney Plus Signs Exclusive Distribution Deal With Canal Plus in France

    Ahead of its launch in France on March 31, 2020, Disney Plus has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Canal Plus Group, the country’s leading pay-TV company. The deal, which was first reported in the French newspaper Les Echos and confirmed by Canal Plus Group CEO Maxime Saada on his Twitter account, marks a new [...]

  • French movie actress Anna Karina smiles

    Anna Karina, French New Wave Star and Jean-Luc Godard Collaborator, Dies at 79

    French New Wave star Anna Karina, who served as a muse for Jean-Luc Godard and appeared in eight of his films, has died. She was 79. France’s culture minister, Franck Reister, announced her death in a tweet, as did her agent, Laurent Balandras, who attributed the cause as cancer. “Her gaze was the gaze of [...]

  • Frozen 2

    'Frozen 2' Sets Record as Disney's Sixth Movie to Hit $1 Billion in 2019

    “Frozen 2” is the sixth Disney movie this year to hit $1 billion globally, strengthening the studio’s sheer dominance over the box office. Those ticket sales extend the benchmark Disney set over summer, with five other films — “Avengers: Endgame,” “Aladdin,” “Toy Story 4,” “The Lion King” and “Captain Marvel” — joining the billion-dollar club [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content