Win Win
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: -3

Directed by Thomas McCarthy (The Station Agent, The Visitor). Main Actors: Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan, Burt Young, Alex Shaffer, Melanie Lynskey.

FILM SYNOPSIS: While billed as a comedy, most viewers will consider Win Win an honest portrayal of a struggling small-town lawyer too proud to admit his failing law practice and the inevitable fallout of deception. Paul Flaherty (Paul Giamatti) sees a solution to his dilemma by becoming the legal guardian of elderly Leo Poplar (Burt Young), who has no family, by convincing the judge of his compassion for the client, a complete stranger. Out of nowhere Kyle Timmons (newcomer Alex Shaffer), a homeless teenager, appears claiming to be the old manís grandson. Paulís wife Jackie (Amy Ryan) agrees to let Kyle stay in their basement temporarily. The best laid plans of Paul begin to crumble when Kyleís mother Cindy (Melanie Lynskey) joins the ďpartyĒ with her own lawyer. Win Win was featured at the Sundance Film Festival.

PREVIEW REVIEW Yes, Win Win has lots of humor but with lots of heart. Jackie is a forgiving wife and a loving mother who reaches out to the teenage boy. Paul too becomes a strong mentor to Kyle and enrolls him in the local high school so he can join the wrestling team that Paul coaches in his spare time. He discovers honesty is always best, whether in business or at home.

Thatís all the good news. The bad news is that a movie with so many really good qualities is ruined by incessant obscenities and profanities. In the opening scene a 5 or 6 year old girl says the s-word, her mother and father both say it, and the father admonishes his child for saying it. The teenagers on the wrestling team frequently use the f-word with no correction from the coaches. Is that reality or good sportsmanship? Win Win is rated R to protect those who are offended by language abuse, but why are obscenities and taking the Lordís name in vain important components of a story about an otherwise wholesome family? Toning down the dialogue would in no way lessen the believability or essence of the plot. There is no sexual or crude behavior and only a brief shot of rear male nudity.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Distributor: Fox Searchlight

Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: Many s- and f-words spoken by the very young and role model adults
Profanity: C-sake, JC, G-d several times
Violence: Mild shoving during wrestling matches
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: Rear male nudity very briefly once
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: None
Other: Consequences of not being completely honest
Running Time: 106 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

Copyright Preview Family Movie Review (