Wrestling With Life
When a small time attorney with a failing practice suddenly finds a young man in his life who is the Grandson of client, the opportunity for redemption and a new direction presents itself.
Paul Giamatti plays the attorney who finagles his way into being the custodian of the estate of an elderly man he represents. Giamatti’s character actually does it just to gain a $1500 per month fee, since he can’t make enough money to support his family. The old man is played by Burt Young of “Rocky” fame.
One day a moody teenage boy shows up, played ably by Alex Shaffer. He’s looking for his Grandfather because his single Mom is in drug rehab and they have become estranged. Giamatti, who happens to volunteer with his best friend, played by Jeffrey Tambor, as a high school wrestling coach, let’s the young man live with his family since Young’s character is in a nursing home. He soon learns the kid is a wrestling phenom, enrolls him in the high school where he coaches and the road to this film’s finale is in high gear.
The marketing for this film make it look too much like a high school wrestling movie than it really is. It actually is a story about deception, economics, aging and the ultimate importance of the truth. Giamatti, a very good actor, plays a downtrodden and somewhat dour kind of guy, the type of character he normally plays. There are some good laughs, a solid cast and a story that is interesting, but the film lacks the dramatic punch it needs to be highly successful.
Still, Win Win is not at a total loss as a movie, and it does have an very original plot.