Went to a special screening of the new Paul Giamatti/Amy Ryan film "Win Win" last night (and really, has there been a more ideally-suited, realistic pairing in casting history?) — and I really can't recommend it highly enough. It's not annoyingly quirky like some indie films, and it's got a real moral center to it. The characters may do questionable things, but you want them to succeed in the end because you really, really find them likable and sympathetic.
Giamatti's a lawyer whose practice is swirling the drain, and a high-school wrestling coach whose team is doing the same. His wife (Ryan) and two young kids are great and loyal and believable, which keeps things from feeling too down. (This is a comedy, by the way — he works alongside Jeffrey Tambor.) An elderly client needs a legal guardian, and Giamatti steps in to fill the gap — but puts the guy in a home while collecting the guardian check each month, rather than take on what would be too much responsibility. When the guy's grandson — a bleached-blond teen of few words who just so happens to be a wrestling prodigy — shows up, the whole thing could come crashing down.
So well acted. So well written. So just — delightful. And for anyone looking at the "R" rating, here's what it's for — two uses of the F word. There's no sex, no violence (outside the wrestling ring). It absolutely should have been a PG-13 film at the very most, and any parent reading this with a young teen should feel perfectly fine with taking their kids to see it. And I hope you will. I hope you'll go. Totally worth the money — it's the kind of movie and the kind of comedy you wish Hollywood was making, instead of drek like "Just Go With It." Well, somebody is making those films. Encourage them further!