Jerry & Marge Go Large

Paramount + has a few new releases on their streaming service and I chose to watch a film called Jerry & Marge Go Large, which featured performances from Bryan Cranston and Annette Bening and directed by David Frankel.

Jerry & Marge Go Large is based on a true story of couple Jerry and Marge Selbee (Cranston & Bening) who, after retirement, were having trouble finding anything to get excited about. Jerry, who always had a remarkable skill for math, discovered a flaw in a game involving the lottery called Rollback. Jerry began playing the Rollback game every three weeks and was making money. He knew, however, that the more money he could invest in the lottery, the more of a payout the game would given them.

So, he told his wife Marge and, to his surprise, she was all in on the adventure. Taking yet another level, they formed a company and convinced the people of their small town to join them as stockholders.

Marge and Jerry would spend days printing out lottery tickets and then counting numbers after the lotto numbers came out.

Making things tougher, a group of young Harvard students led by Tyler (Uly Schlesinger) discovered the same flaw in the lotto and began to play too. The problem was, the number of groups involved brought a lesser amount of return and Tyler began to look for ways to get Jerry & Marge to get out of the game.

It truly is a remarkable story and plays out in a great film. I had a lot of fun with this movie. The biggest reason is absolutely the pairing of Bryan Cranston and Annette Bening. As the titular characters, Cranston and Bening are charming, lovable and so much fun. Cranston, in particular, does a fantastic job as the slightly odd, but endearing Jerry. The two actors shared a ton of chemistry as the older couple and I believed every second of the two of them on screen.

The story is warm and sentimental, but not to the point that it becomes too much. The addition of the Harvard kids and Tyler presented a nice counter-balance to Jerry and Marge and gave them a challenge in which to overcome.

There are some other solid actors involved including Michael McKeon, Larry Wilmore, Rainn Wilson, Jake McDorman, Cheech Manohar, Ann Harada, Anna Camp and Ana Cruz Kayne.

The film was nicely paced and was never boring. Bryan Cranston and Annette Bening were tremendously entertaining and enjoyable. There were some good laughs and an underdog story that really came through. Jerry & Marge Go Large can be seen on Paramount +.

4 stars

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