Beth Raymer is a beautiful girl with a big heart who leaves her dancing job at a Florida strip club to become a Las Vegas cocktail waitress. Not exactly an ideal career choice, but her borderline-ditzy personality doesn’t give her many options. In walks Dink, a professional sports bettor who sees through her bubbly exterior and offers her a job placing wagers all over town to gain an advantage over the casinos. Her surprisingly impeccable mind for numbers soon cements her status as Dink’s good-luck charm until his gorgeous-but-frigid wife, Tulip, starts to get jealous. Faced with no other choice but to fire Beth, Dink’s luck runs out when she heads to New York to work for a smarmy bookie, a turn of events that lands her squarely on the wrong side of the law.
Acclaimed director Stephen Frears first wowed Sundance Film Festival audiences in 1985 with his sardonic thriller The Hit, and returned in 1991 with The Grifters, which garnered several Oscar nominations. With Lay the Favorite, Frears nimbly displays his penchant for interweaving comedy and drama to create a thoroughly satisfying tale of improbable friendship found in the unlikeliest of places. –Sundance Film Festival
Frears was born in Leicester, England to an Anglican father and a Jewish mother. Attended the Trinity College in Cambridge before starting his carreer in television where he contributed to several high-profile series such as the BBC’s Play for Today. In the mid-1980s he came to prominence as an important director of British and later American films. It was his production of the one-off drama My Beautiful Laundrette for Channel 4 in 1985 that led to his notice as a capable film director when the production was released theatrically to great acclaim. He next directed another successful British film, the Joe Orton biopic Prick Up Your Ears in 1987, followed by a second film from a Hanif Kureshi screen play, Sammy and Rosie Get Laid. The following year he made his Hollywood debut with Dangerous Liaisons. Frears had another critical success with The Grifters, for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director but suffered a major box office disappointment with Hero, starring… read more
The only thing this movie lays is an egg the size of a blimp. Zeta-Jones as a tacky trophy wife and Vaughan as a sleazoid bookie are the only bright moments. Amused myself the rest of the time by watching the most heavy-handed product placements experienced in recent memory. An entire throwaway scene at a CD stall is included just so Willis can mention album names to the ditzy, unloveable heroine.
Nearly 20 trailers for films screening in Sundance’s noncompetitive programs have appeared so far.