Film Review: “Jerry and Marge Go Large”

 

  • JERRY AND MARGE GO LARGE
  • Starring:  Bryan Cranston and Annette Bening
  • Directed by:  David Frankel
  • Rated:  PG 13
  • Running time:  1 hr 36 mins
  • Paramount +

 

We have a lottery pool at work but, except for the occasional $4 win or free ticket, we’re pretty much throwing our money away on a chance of winning the big prize.  It’s actually a 1 in 292,331,208 chance but come one, nothing is a sure thing.  Unless you live in a small town in Michigan and your neighbors are Jerry and Marge Selbee.

Based on a true story, “Jerry and Marge Go Large” is a sweet, well-acted tale of two people that figured out – Larry is a math wiz – that the more you played a certain lottery game the better your chances of winning.  But the Selbees aren’t in it for their own gains.  They are trying to raise money for their small community and actually get their neighbors involved in the game.  Things get tough when the game is cancelled in Michigan and the closest place to play is Massachusetts.  While their plan seems foolproof, it is not without sacrifice.  Mostly time.  From their initial purchase of a few thousand dollars worth of tickets, through week’s when they are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, each ticket must be printed individually.  This means long days (and nights) standing at the local liquor store and just buying ticket after ticket after ticket after ticket…..you get the picture.

 

This is such a fun film to watch, from the premise to the cast.  Cranston and Bening will go down as two of the best actors of their generation, and it’s a treat to see them play off each other so well.  And it’s always a treat to see Rainn Wilson and Michael McKean on screen.  The script is sharp and the direction well-paced.  This film is an early summer treat for viewers not into dinosaurs and super heroes.

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