The Bronze, starring Melissa Rauch (Dr. Bernadette) from The Big Bang Theory, led off the Sundance Film Festival’s US Dramatic Competition entries Thursday night. Rauch also was the screenwriter, along with her husband, Winston Rauch, of the Bryan Buckley-directed Indie film, which has since been snapped up by Relativity Media for $3 million plus. International distribution of the raunchy movie about gymnastics, toilet humor and sex will be handled by Sony.
The Bronze played at Park City’s Eccles Theater this past Thursday to a full house. Director Bryan Buckley was on hand to introduce the film, saying that knowing the screenwriters were husband and wife “will make it that much better.” Melissa Rauch was there after the screening of The Bronze to answer questions.
Melissa Rauch, who will likely be nominated for Best Actress during the next Film Independent Spirit Awards, plays former Olympic gymnast Hope Ann Gregory. Her claim to fame was winning a bronze medal in the Olympics 12 years previously by sticking a landing on the uneven bars routine she performed despite having injured her foot.
Hope falls into a pattern after her brief time in the spotlight of driving around Ohio in a gold Buick and becoming addicted to snorting her allergy medicine. Hope Ann Gregory decides to change her life around following the tragic death of Coach P., her gymnastics mentor. She has $500,000 worth of reasons to do so, as that is how much Coach P. has promised to leave her if she agrees to train the 16-year-old gymnastics future star, Maggie, played by Haley Lu Richardson, for the upcoming Toronto Games.
At first, Hope Ann is jealous of Maggie, and has an initial response of wanting to ruin her promising gymnastics career. Hope “encourages” Maggie to excel by trying to convince her that her fitness regime should include marijuana smoothies, eating a lot of fried foods, and participating in casual sex. However, Hope Ann eventually gets serious about training Maggie, as a way to help her recapture her own past Olympic glory through her talented student.
Besides the main plot, there is also an interesting romantic subplot. The subplot involves the owner of the gym where Hope Ann takes Maggie to work out at, Twitchy, played by actor Thomas Middleditch from the HBO series, Silicon Valley, as well as Hope Ann’s past romantic interest, Lance, who has now become a gymnastics coach and is her nemesis in The Bronze.
Relativity president Tucker Tooley was asked to make a commitment to have The Bronze shown on at least 600 screens across the United States. He was very enthusiatic about the film, stating that it “fits into Sundance’s long history of discovering new and unique comedic talent that can find its way to a broader audience.” He added that everyone at Relativity was “excited to be part of bringing The Bronze to a larger audience.”
Joining Melissa Rauch, Haley Lu Richardson and Thomas Middleditch in The Bronze are Sebastian Stan, Gary Cole, and Cecily Strong, from Saturday Night Live. The movie was produced by Stephanie Langhoff and the executive producers of The Bronze include its director, Buckley, as well as Melissa and Winston Rauch, Michael Cuddy, and Mark and Jay Duplass.
The Indie comedy, The Bronze, starring Melissa Rauch of The Big Bang Theory, was a big hit at the Sundance Film Festival when it debuted this past Thursday. It caught the eye of Relativity president, Tucker Tooley, who decided to acquire distribution rights, paying over $3 million for the privilege. The raunchy film featuring Rauch as a former Olympian gymnast-turned-coach is expected to be a hit when it opens in theaters.
Written By Douglas Cobb