Lay The Favorite Blu-ray Review
Beth (Rebecca Hall) is giving up life as a private dancer and heading to Las Vegas with the oh-so high aspirations of being a cocktail waitress. However, she almost immediately gets an unlikely job as an assistant to sports gambler Dink (Bruce Willis). Incidentally, Beth is quite the good luck charm for Dink and it doesn’t hurt that she is great with numbers, letters and has a photographic memory. However, Dink’s fussy wife Tulip (Catherine Zeta-Jones) doesn’t quite appreciate the chummy relationship between her husband and the charming young Beth who isn’t afraid to express her girly crush. When luck takes a nasty turn, Beth find herself in a troublesome position with a dirty bookie (Vince Vaughn).
The best word to describe LAY THE FAVORITE is unnecessary. It’s very light and inoffensive but the entire premise is completely useless. There is never any real danger and any little conflict that arises is immediately resolved. But it doesn’t really matter because even if the conflict was exciting, none of the characters had enough substance for us to care about. The whole film was without purpose.
LAY THE FAVORITE has an obscene amount of usually talented stars. Bruce Willis and Catherine Zeta-Jones do their best to lower their performance level in order to match the insignificant film quality. Vince Vaughn (WEDDING CRASHERS), Joshua Jackson (Fringe), Laura Prepon (That 70’s Show), Corbin Bernsen (MAJOR LEAGUE) were all completely unnecessary adding more blandness to an already stale concoction. One of the bigger disappointments is Rebecca Hall who has some success landing roles in THE PRESTIGE, THE TOWN and the upcoming IRON MAN 3. Unfortunately, her performance was just as annoying as the character she played.
Perhaps the biggest shocker is that LAY THE FAVORITE is directed by Oscar nominated Stephen Frears (THE QUEEN, HIGH FIDELITY, DANGEROUS LIASONS, THE GRIFTERS). Clearly, the man has talent in dramas and comedy and knows a little bit about the betting scene. So why is LAY THE FAVORITE so poorly executed with awkward edits and poor pacing landing smack dab in the middle of nothingness, oblivion? He and everyone involved should be held to higher standards.
It’s not even necessarily a train wreck because at least that is newsworthy garnering excitement and interest. No, LAY THE FAVORITE’s biggest tragedy is its complete and utter forgettable boringness. I think it’s supposed to be a comedy but I never really laughed. The brief inside look and tactics toward gambling were somewhat interesting but that’s not really what this film is about. This unfortunate film is mostly about a lead character who is not worth rooting for. Beth is actively trying to break up a marriage and is unbelievably googly eyed and ditzy as if she came straight from a stereotypical side character in Saved By The Bell. One might find solace in seeing some of their favorite stars in sunny Las Vegas, but I wouldn’t bet on it. There is absolutely no need to see this one.
Video: (1080p 1.85:1 MPEG-4 AVC) A good looking picture utilizing the bright colorful lights of Las Vegas.
Audio: (DTS-HD MASTER AUDIO 5.1) A decent sound with all the dialogue coming through clearly.
Deleted Scenes (7:41): Eleven deleted scenes that are just as unnecessary as the scenes in the actual film.