Lay the Favorite

Director: Stephen Frears
Year Released: 2012
Rating: 0.5

Floozy Beth (Rebecca Hall) needs a job - other than just as a cocktail waitress - so she lands a new gig with a famous Vegas gambler (Bruce Willis) who's all too eager to show her how betting (and winning and losing tons of cash) works. Truly pitiful adaptation of Beth Raymer's (factually questionable, largely terrible) book begs the following questions: does Catherine Zeta-Jones really need a face-lift? The answer is no. Does Vince Vaughn's best impersonation of a Jewish accent work? The answer is no. Can Rebecca Hall convincingly play a bubbly moron? The answer is no. Would someone like Bruce Willis's character, a tenured and respected gambler, just take someone like Hall's character and trust her with money immediately? It seems unlikely. Is there any tension generated by either of the two subplots (Hall's being fired and the Dave Greenberg-and-the-parole-officer crisis)? Not at all. Did Stephen Frears - yes, Stephen Frears - actually direct this, or was there some imposter who wore a Stephen Frears costume and took over this lame excuse for a movie? I'm betting yes.