‘Jerry & Marge Go Large’ is the perfect ‘Breaking Bad’ for date night
You can bet on this: Jerry and Marge go big is a fun, clever, heartfelt, and even intermittently romantic movie that’s perfect for home streaming. It’s a sweet film about a strange adventure set in the suburbs, with a wholesome but gripping story. And because you have Bryan Cranston going from zero to hero, if you squint, Jerry and Marge go big is totally wellness breaking Bad. Here’s why we loved this unexpected new gem, and why we expect it to become the knockout hit for couples to watch when they’re looking for something uplifting and smart. Sweet spoilers ahead.
Starring Bryan Cranston and Annette Bening and directed by David Frankel (The devil wears Prada), Jerry and Marge is inspired by a true story (and a Huffington Post article), the film is set in 1996 and follows Jerry (Cranston) and Marge Selbee (Bening), a retired couple who teamed up to beat the system – by exploiting a mathematical flaw – and slowly but steadily raised 26 million dollars in a lottery game called Winfall, first in their small hometown of Michigan, then in Massachusetts. It was a win-win for everyone, as Jerry and Marge reconnect emotionally and physically, and they let friends, family, and many townspeople share in their good fortune. And the city itself has benefited too, with the reopening of shops, the development of a park and the revival of a local jazz festival. The Massachusetts education system also brought in a lot of money.
Nothing lasts forever, however. It won’t be long before Jerry and Marge have to face off against both a group of Harvard students who have cracked the system and don’t like competition, especially from a few older people, and a hard-working journalist ( Tracie Thoms) determined to break history.
As a matter of fact, Jerry and Marge go big works best as something watched at home. It’s an easy-going movie with no superheroes, car chases, explosions or fancy special effects, and it’s a little over the top – but not boring. If you pay $15 for a ticket to catch it at a movie theater, you will definitely question your decision. Watching it at home, in the comfort of your living room, with the ability to press the pause button for bathroom breaks or grabbing a bite to eat? It’s perfect for that.
And his casting is impeccable. Cranston and Bening share a sweet, low-key chemistry, and they make you love Jerry and Marge. Thoms, who starred in Frankel’s The devil wears Prada, does a good job of portraying the reporter; she aims to get the truth out, but luckily she’s not cut out to be the villain of the room. Anna Camp plays the initially disapproving daughter of the Selbees and co-stars Michael McKean as one of the Selbees’ closest friends, and both actors do what they can with heavily underwritten roles. And then there’s Rainn Wilson and Larry Wilmore. Wilson generates laughs as the quirky convenience store clerk who is an integral part of the Selbees’ ever-evolving ticket-buying operation, while Wilmore pretty much steals the show as the couple’s multi-tasking widowed accountant, who has a bewildered view of their finances, their unlikely way to secure a nest egg, and how it all affects him and his own situation.
“We don’t get movies like this very often,” said Rainn Wilson Paternal. “Everyone will enjoy it. Yeah, it’s about a bunch of old people. But it’s told in a very youthful, fun, and vibrant way. They’re all-American characters, good people trying to do good things, you know, in small town America. It’s so uplifting and heartwarming and, and it’s just real.
We couldn’t agree more. To catch Jerry and Marge go big streaming on Paramount+ right now.