A bad bet

OUT NOW! LAY THE FAVORITE, like so many adaptations falls flat. Its too kitschy, cliche and all around painful.

A stripper (Hall) moves to Las Vegas, gets involved in Willis’ weirdly paternal gambling crew, subsequently makes good – and writes a memoir, on the real-life version of which Frears based this disappointingly shallow comedy. It’s hard not to gawk at Hall’s grating cliché of an out-oftowner or the perfunctory introductions and thinness of the plot. Willis does saintly surprisingly well, and Vaughn steals a scene as a dodgy NY bookie, but the lasting impression is more the stultifying heat of a Nevada parking lot than the thrill of the casino.

Lay the Favorite (Lady Vegas) | Directed by Stephen Frears (USA, UK 2012) with Rebecca Hall, Bruce Willis, Vince Vaughn. Starts July 19