2 stars (out of 4 stars)
How do you win the all-around gold medal when it comes generating buzz for your movie at the Sundance Film Festival?
It's easy! Just stage a raunchy, eye-popping sex scene in which two naked gymnasts turn synchronized back flips while doing the deed.
The movie is called The Bronze, which premiered on Thursday, Jan. 22 in the coveted opening night slot. Melissa Rauch (from the aptly titled The Big Bang Theory) co-wrote the flick and stars as Hope, a bronze medal-winning 2004 Olympic gymnast turned embittered, Fanta-swilling slacker. (Think Keri Strug meets Tonya Harding.) If Hope — who still wears her Team USA warm-up apparel every day — had her way, she'd be living off of her 15 Minutes in small town Ohio for eternity. But she's manipulated into coaching the local, Olympics-bound gymnast. And that's where she runs into Lance (Sebastian Stan), her smarmy ex boyfriend and former gold medalist.
Foxcatcher, it's not. Yet just when it seems like this pitch-black comedy should be tossed into the hackneyed Bad Adult movie genre pile along with Bad Words, Bad Teacher and Bad Santa, comes The Scene.
Folks, do not try this at home. Rauch and Stan eventually find their way inside a seedy hotel room and . . . perform one hell of a floor routine. For a few delirious minutes — the sequence plays at fast-forward speed — the two spin from acrobatic sex positions to impressive flexibility holds. In a shot that elicited howls of laughter from the audience, a naked Rauch stretches out her arms and grips the circular curtain rods a la a rings apparatus while Stan . . . well, let's just say the Olympics committee would blush watching it.
Though she would get a perfect 10 for her form.
The rest of the film? Maybe a 4. The Russian judge would probably give it even less. (The tone is all over the place and Hope is just too wretched for redemption). And yet, it's impossible to not carry a torch for its moment of glory.
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Take that, Fifty Shades of Grey.
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