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Lay the Favorite [Blu-ray]

3.2 out of 5 stars 185 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Beth Raymer (Rebecca Hall) leaves her dancing job at a Florida strip club to become a Las Vegas cocktail waitress. In walks Dink (Bruce Willis), a professional sports bettor who sees through her bubbly exterior and offers her a job placing wagers all over town to gain an advantage over the casinos. Her surprisingly impeccable mind for numbers soon cements her status as Dink's good-luck charm, until his gorgeous-but-frigid wife, Tulip (Catherine Zeta-Jones), starts to get jealous. Faced with no other choice but to fire Beth, Dink's luck runs out when she heads to New York to work for a smarmy bookie, a turn of events that lands her squarely on the wrong side of the law. Based on a true story, LAY THE FAVORITE is a heartfelt comedy of finding friendship in the least likely places.

Product Details

  • Actors: Bruce Willis, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Joshua Jackson, Rebecca Hall
  • Directors: Stephen Frears
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: ANCHOR BAY
  • DVD Release Date: March 5, 2013
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (185 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00ATP24XC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,631 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Beth(Rebecca Hall) is a woman who aspires to be a cocktail waitress in Vegas. She has both brains and looks. She ends up working for Dink, a bookie (Bruce Willis) who she develops feelings. Dink has a jealous wife Tulip (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and a bad side when he loses, which causes Beth to get a job elsewhere. Beth eventually gets into trouble and needs help.

The film is based on a true story, so you didn't know where it is headed. The downfall of the film is that it has a narrow appeal. It is basically a modified chick flick. But it is for chicks who know something about book making. The phrase "lay the favorite" means betting against the favorite, i.e. you always take the points and the underdog, you never give points. Bookies make their money by having a balanced book. They need the same amount of money bet on a team as they do against it. They make their money from taking "the juice" which is a percentage of the winnings. If the juice is 10% and you bet $50 even money, you will net $40 in return. In order to balance their books, they will have to move money around and make bets with other books or alter the point spread. The point spread has more to do balancing the books then it does the ability of the teams involved which is why it sometimes changes from the beginning of the week to the end of the week. This allows a smart better to straddle his bet. The key to book making is to do the math and bet with your head, not your heart.

It is not an inside look at the gambling industry per se, but it gives you enough of a glimpse that you feel you need to know what is going on in order to enjoy the movie. The most unbelievable aspect of the film is that with all the money Dirk and his wife had, she drank Beefeaters Gin. I enjoyed Bruce Willis in this role. Rebecca Hall was refreshing. A light chick flick for people who know something about gambling.

Parental Guide: F-bomb, nudity (Jo Newman, Laura Prepon - Donna from "That 70's Show")
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The girl playing the lead gets on your nerves, since she seems like she's on hyperspeed all of the time. Did Catherine Zeta Jones get a major face lift? And of course Vince Vaugn is in it, he's very funny. I liked seeing him and Bruce, they were great. But I expected more, in general. It was like watching squirrels run around in those little wheels things....I should have waited until it was ALOT cheaper, like in Prime....buyer beware--
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Format: DVD
Having finished watching Stephen Frears' "Lay the Favorite," I am still unsure what to make of this "true story" based on Beth Raymer's memoir of her experiences in the sports-betting industry in Las Vegas. The film has one interesting subject matter, to be sure, and benefits from the fine performance from Rebecca Hall as the spirited heroine, but with its unfocused and disjointed narrative "Lay the Favorite" simply doesn't know what it is doing.

An in-home exotic dancer Beth travels from Florida to Las Vegas, dreaming of becoming a cocktail waitress at a casino. As luck would have it, she gets a job working for a bookie Dink Heimowitz (Bruce Willis). Beth, who is good with numbers, becomes a sort of good luck charm for Dink and even gets romantically involved with him before his wife Tulip (Catherine Zeta-Jones) comes back and interferes.

The story may sound interesting. Actually, it is not, jumping from one scene to the next without developing any of the characters. In "Lay the Favorite" you will never know anything about the betting industry. That itself is not a big problem if the film allows us to know the characters. Beth meets characters played by Corbin Bernsen, Frank Grillo, Joshua Jackson, John Carroll Lynch, Laura Prepon and Vince Vaughn. The impressive cast does their best, but frankly, we really don't care what happen to these uninteresting cyphers.

The only exception to the mediocre writing is the film's protagonist Beth, who, thanks to Rebecca Hall, remains attractive even when her character is not really credible. Despite her effective acting, "Lay the Favorite" seems trying not to entertain us, by omitting or blurring critical points of her story that should be more interesting.
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Format: Amazon Video
Such an established cast and yet failed on every level. Really disappointed that I spent ten dollars to watch this dud.
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Hollywood must be overflowing with money to burn if this lame script was green lighted and made into a movie. If I ever hear Bruce Willis, Catherine Zeta Jones or Vince Vaughn talk about acting as an "art form" I'll vomit. Don't waste a second of your life watching this garbage.
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Format: Blu-ray
Beth (Rebecca Hall) is a dreamer. Moving from her Southern roots to Vegas with dreams of stepping up in life and becoming a cocktail waitress (yes that is her initial ambition) she moves into a low rent motel where she makes friends who give her another option. Rather than be manhandled all day they send her to Dink (Bruce Willis), a professional gambler who bets on any and everything.

Dink Inc. is a business where the odds are always manipulated by the placing of bets in legal form. Not only does this pay Dink well but it helps take care of those who are working for him as well. With a head for numbers, Beth is a natural and soon Dink Inc. is doing well and Beth with it. Now all she has to do is get past Tulip (Catherine Zeta-Jones).

Tulip is Dink's wife and to say she is jealous is an understatement. Then again there have been times when her jealousy was well founded. As Beth begins to fall for Dink and attempt to sway him, Tulip steps in and puts an end to it. Beth loses her job, meets a young man named Jeremy (Joshua Jackson) and its love at first sight. With no reason to stay she plans on going back to New York with Jeremy when he leaves. But Dink is in a slump of bad luck and he thinks Beth was his good luck charm so he convinces her to come back.

Beth's return doesn't increase Dink's luck any more than the rising sun. Within days he tosses her and his whole team out again. Unwilling to wait around another day, Beth heads to New York and Jeremy. Once there she contacts Rosie (Vince Vaughan), a low life illegal bookie she met through Dink, and helps him run his business. Plans are to set up in the Caribbean where gambling is legal with Beth running the show. As always, things don't go as planned.
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Lay the Favorite [Blu-ray]
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