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  • Writer's pictureJames Rutherford

'Win Win': An Appealing Comedy about a Wayward High School Wrestling Coach's Path to Redemption

Movie poster for the film Win Win starring Paul Giamatti

"Win Win" (2011) is a lively and pleasing comedy/drama starring Paul Giamatti as Mike Flaherty, an attorney and high school wrestling coach in small-town New jersey who is overwhelmed with a struggling law practice, exorbitant debt, unhealthy anxiety and a hopelessly bad wrestling team he half-heartedly coaches to futility.

In a desperate attempt to remain afloat, Mike makes the unscrupulous decision to defraud one of his clients, but is subsequently forced to care for the client’s grandson—only to discover that the boy just happens to be a wrestling phenom. Suddenly realizing the opportunity to find unheralded success for his team on the wrestling mat, Mike is soon facing serious moral dilemmas as his carefully constructed agenda begins to painstakingly unravel.

Directed and co-written by Tom McCarthy ("The Station Agent", "Spotlight"), “Win Win” is a genuine and original story that begins on one apparent path of comedy and error, but ultimately finds its way to a very different, wholly unexpected conclusion. McCarthy has a real knack for tempting convention but avoiding cliché and finding refreshingly unfamiliar plot resolution, and "Win Win" is no exception. It's an fresh, insightful and roundly appealing comic delight.


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