Lay the Favorite | Indy Week

Lay the Favorite

Rated R 100 min. 2012

In this increasingly desperate comedy that follows the kinda-true story of one young woman's adventures in the world of gambling, Rebecca Hall plays Beth Raymer, a Tallahassee exotic dancer who heads to Las Vegas for fame and fortune. There she meets professional gambler Dink Heimowitz (Bruce Willis) and takes a job with his sports book operation. Hall (The Town) can be a radiant screen performer, but she does herself no favors with this undercooked role. Willis seems barely interested, and Vince Vaughn once again plays Vince Vaughn in a supporting role. Director Stephen Frears (The Grifters) likes to find the lighter side of sordid scenarios and there's enough comic potential here to keep your hopes up: The film's degenerate gamblers wager on everything from beauty pageants to spelling bees. But everything gradually collapses into unearned sentiment and painfully strained gambling metaphors.

Film Credits

Director: Stephen Frears

Writer: Beth Raymer

Producer: Anthony Bregman, Randall Emmett, George Furla, D.V. DeVincentis and Paul Trijbits

Cast: Bruce Willis, Vince Vaughn, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Laura Prepon, Rebecca Hall, Joshua Jackson, Frank Grillo, John Carroll Lynch, Corbin Bernsen and Joel Murray

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