Not every movie can be, or should be, the equivalent of Top Gun: Maverick. Jerry and Marge Go Large may not win awards or earn a fortune, but it made me smile—and I don’t take that for granted, especially nowadays. Bravo to Bryan Cranston and Annette Bening for believing in this can-do story and giving it their all.
If you’ve read the “logline” you already know that the movie is based on a true story about a recent retiree who identifies a flaw in the Massachusetts State Lottery system. After striking it rich he decides to let the residents of his struggling Michigan town join in the monthly ritual, which involves driving hundreds of miles and printing out thousands of tickets.
In the process, Jerry and Marge rediscover what fun it is to engage in an activity that involves them both and brings them so much happiness and satisfaction.
I’ve left out the details that make the film worth watching and elevate it above the level of a soft-hearted TV movie. Credit screenwriter Brad Copeland and director David Frankel for not overplaying their hand and keeping things simple. Cranston and Bening strike just the right note and are supported by such welcome performers as Larry Wilmore, Michael McKean, Rainn Wilson, and as their bewildered children, Anna Camp and Jake McDorman.
Unlike so many bloated movie blockbusters, Jerry and Marge Go Large also knows when to quit. It runs 96 minutes.
The movie begins streaming Friday, June 17 on Paramount+.