Mike Flaherty is a man struggling with multiple commitments; he works as a lawyer, runs a young people’s wrestling team and has a family to care for. With his finances stretched thin, his questionable solutions are called into question when a wrestling prodigy stays with him to escape his own family problems.
Win Win‘s three act narrative is quite apparent, and I will admit it took a little time for me to warm into it at first. This is deliberate, as we see Mike’s life is troubled and his decisions are debatable and ambiguous… the first act blatantly sets up more to come, only to be temporarily side-lined by an excellent second act when the character of Kyle is introduced. Certainly the middle-to-end acts are superb as we see the characters become overwhelmed by surprise success while the consequences of Mike’s earlier choices start to emerge.
My only problem was with the ending, which felt rather sudden and a little too easy on Mike himself; the film addresses overcoming personal demons and fighting them off with courage, yet he himself has little-to-no battle. The film simply eases off the pressure.
But having said that, it is a good little film with some really nice characters who you do find quickly charming. I can’t say I found any of them irritating or unrealistic, which I often do with these sorts of films! The comedy isn’t forced or contrived (except maybe once early on) it is a friendly sort of humour.
Fans of Giamatti’s work must apply. Anyone who wants a pleasant distraction should check it out too.