Lay the Favorite features Vince Vaughn, Bruce Willis, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Rebecca Hall. It is directed by Stephen Frears. Hall plays Beth, an on-call stripper in Florida who manages to escape to work in Las Vegas as a cocktail waitress.
Her boss is Dink Heimowitz (Bruce Willis), a professional gambler and married to Tulip (Catherine Zeta-Jones). Tulip becomes jealous with Beth and Dink fires her. She ends up working for Dink’s competitor Rosie (Vince Vaughn). He has the scheme but doesn’t have the money to implement it. He also has no fear of bluffing. And Beth is caught in the middle of it.
Beth is not believable as an expert gambler that she turns out to be. She doesn’t seem to have the mental capabilities to be one. And this is one of the reasons why Lay the Favorite is tedious to watch.
Director Frears wants Lay the Favorite to feature the adrenaline rush of major stakes gambling with the unbalanced mental state caused by the marital status of those concerned. He gambled on the story and he lost big time. The cast members are given so little to do in this one.
The first ten minutes of Lay the Favorite is interesting but after that, it becomes ridiculous. It looks like the actors are just going through the motions. There is no tension and it seems like the characters are detached with their actions and emotions.
Lay the Favorite could have been more interesting if it dwindled in the aspects of the gambling operation. But the director wanted to show more of the romantic scenes to stretch the runtime.
Lay the Favorite is not funny and not entertaining at all. The characters are not developed well enough and you can’t find their motivations for their actions. It is predictable and waste of the actor’s talents. Don’t bet your money on this movie.