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Film / The Bronze

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There's no place like third.

The Bronze is a 2015 comedy about Hope Ann Greggory, a former Olympic gymnast who, after a Career-Ending Injury, lives with her father in Amherst, Ohio and coasts by on her local celebrity status. When her former coach commits suicide, Hope is promised $500,000 if she'll train Maggie Townsend, an up-and-coming teenage gymnast headed for the Olympics. While she initially attempts to sabotage the girl out of jealousy, the threat of losing her inheritance prompts her to train her for real.

Starring Melissa Rauch, Sebastian Stan, Haley Lu Richardson, Cecily Strong, Thomas Middleditch, and Gary Cole, The Bronze had surprisingly poor critical reception.

The Bronze contains examples of:

  • All Men Are Perverts: Subverted. Hope bluntly hits on a couple Black guys she meets in a bar, offering them a threeway. They first act interested but then turn her down and tell her to leave them alone. She acts surprised, so presumably this had worked before.
  • Balloon Belly: After six weeks of overeating and not training Maggie develops a noticeable gut.
  • Career-Ending Injury: Hope tore her Achilles tendon when she was 17.
  • Crocodile Tears: Hope cries about her dead mom when she wants her dad to give in to her whims.
  • Disappeared Dad: Maggie's dad left when she was three, after which her mom's struggled to support them, working as a janitor.
  • Do You Want to Copulate?: Hope tersely offers to have sex with a couple Black guys she just met in a bar. To her surprise, they turn her down.
  • Driven to Suicide: Coach P. killed herself offscreen. We don't learn exactly why, however she was in debt to the government so the pressure may have been too much.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • The film opens with home video footage of Hope's childhood, then to a video of her last tournament where she tore her Achilles tendon... and then cuts to now-adult Hope masturbating to the tournament footage.
    • Maggie sees Hope through a window and gasps "OMG, it's Hope Ann Greggory!" before doing a triple front-flip.
    • Lance yells at an intern on the phone, then proceeds to insult Hope and treat Ben like a servant.
  • Experienced Protagonist: Hope is an Olympic gymnast training newbie Maggie.
  • Genki Girl: Maggie is a hyper, happy teen who does handsprings when she's excited.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Maggie's strict religious upbringing prevents her from saying anything harsher than "shucks" at first.
  • Hidden Buxom: Hope has quite a large bust for her height and build; she finds it awkward for a gymnast, and her size wasn't evident until she undressed. Ben even asks whether she'd taped them down while doing gymnastics (she doesn't answer, but it seems likely, given they would get in the way).
  • Imagine Spot: Hope has one at Maggie's Olympics, where she considers telling her that her mother's plane crashed so she'll blow her routine. Fortunately, she doesn't go that route.
  • It's All About Me: Hope's attitude initially-she's a completely selfish jerk.
  • Jerkass: Hope treats her loving father like dirt and actively tries to sabotage Maggie out of petty jealousy. She does get better, though, unlike Lance who remains a complete dick the whole way through.
  • Male Frontal Nudity: Lance, during the very athletic sex scene.
  • Manchild: Hope is womanchild at the beginning. She mooches off her dad, while living in his house, stealing from his mail bag (a federal crime, as he notes) and acts generally like a spoiled kid. Her dad enables and tolerates this at first, but finally tries to push her into maturing (which eventually works).
  • Missing Mom: Hope's mom died when she was just an infant, which is mentioned repeatedly. However, it moves serves as an excuse for her poor behavior and to gain sympathy from others.
  • Nice Guy: Ben is an absolute sweetheart, as is Maggie.
  • Parents as People: Stan is a loving, devoted father, but he overindulges his daughter and can't seem to tell her no. He clearly regrets how much of a brat she became as a result.
  • Pet the Dog: Hope has a few of these moments with Maggie, like teaching her a (very crude) secret handshake and telling her not to beat herself up over minor mistakes.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: Coach P. kills herself offscreen early in the film, kickstarting the entire plot, as Maggie's left without a coach and then Hope gets a letter left by Coach P. actually her dad, it turns out promising her half a million if she'll finish the training.
  • Really Gets Around: Hope has no problem hooking up with boys.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Hope's favorite word seems to be "fuck".
  • Spoiled Brat: Stan gives Hope everything she wants and doesn't make her get a job, so it's no surprise she turned out like this.
  • Talent Double: Michelle Derstine, who's performed in Cirque du Soleil, doubles for Hope with the gymnastic sex scene, providing all of the stunts and nudity.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Hope goes from a spoiled, self-centered asshole to a mature, far nicer (but still prickly) adult over the course of the movie.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Maggie's behavior at the end can be seen like this (somewhat downplayed because she gives Hope her dues).
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The ending titles reveal what happened to the main cast: not always something good.