Jerry & Marge Go Large

7 out of 10

Bryan Cranston and Annette Bening

Sometimes, it’s nice to sit down and watch an unassuming feel-good movie. Jerry & Marge Go Large is just that kind of movie.

Jerry & Marge Go Large is somewhat loosely (it’s been moved to the present) based on a true story that was originally told through a Huffington Post article written by Jason Fagone. Jerry Selbee (Bryan Cranston) finds himself bored after retiring from his job of 42 years at Kellogg. Jerry and his wife Marge (Annette Bening) live in a tiny town that is having its own financial struggles. Jerry is a math whiz and while sitting in a coffee shop drinking coffee, he discovers a flaw in how one of the local lottery systems works. After a few trial runs using his savings, Jerry and Marge rekindle their romantic flame while they setup a corporation. The aim of the corporation is to gain more money from lottery winnings and improve their sleepy little town and help the townfolk out as they become partners in the corporation.

Annette Bening is hilarious in this movie as is Cranston. Together, they two have great onscreen chemistry. Both characters are not written with much depth and come off as cardboard characters. There is definitely enough in the script to make them endearing, but I wanted to get to know them better. Rainn Wilson and Larry Wilmore are both memorable as supporting cast members – Wilson as an aloof store owner and Wilmore as an account who has a side gig as an online travel agent. Uly Schlesinger plays a MIT student who is suitably dislikeable.

The script and movie moves along at its own pace, which at times is a bit slow. But, it is interesting and funny enough that it kept my attention. The movie feels like a long extended sitcom, and that is okay. There is a welcome lack of cynicism in this sweet and heartfelt movie – and that put a smile on my face.

I was very pleasantly surprised by Jerry & Marge Go Large. The movie drew me in because of the characters and the fantastic performances by the leads and the supporting cast. The film also has heart that is shown via the town folk and Jerry and Marge’s family — especially the storyline with Jerry and his son. And this made the movie even more loveable. Jerry & Marge Go Large is like comfort food.

Watched at home, streamed on Paramount+.