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Starring: Bryan Cranston, Annette Bening, Rainn Wilson, Anna Camp, Michael McKean, Larry Wilmore, Jake McDorman, Uly Schlesinger, Ann Harada
OUR RATING: ★★★½
Paramount+ comedy drama directed by David Frankel. Jerry and Marge Go Large (2022) is inspired by the true story of retiree Jerry Selbee (Bryan Cranston), who discovers a mathematical loophole in the Massachusetts lottery, and with the help of his wife Marge (Annette Bening), wins millions and uses the money to revive their small Michigan town.
Our Favorite Quotes:'Just because things didn't work out the way you wanted, doesn't mean they won't. Good luck happens, same as bad.' - Marge (Jerry and Marge Go Large) Click To Tweet
Bill: These are my friends, Jerry and Marge Selbee. They live in Evart, Michigan. It’s a small town that’s not exactly in its prime. Though, to be honest, neither are Jerry and Marge. Today, they’re on their way to buy lottery tickets. Lots and lots of lottery tickets. But they’re not hoping to get lucky. You see, they don’t need luck. But this story doesn’t start there. It starts with Jerry, getting up before dawn, just like he has every day for forty-two years, going to work at the Corn Flakes factory, for what he fears will be the last time.
Kellogg’s Boss: Jerry, you don’t have to work so hard. You’re retiring.
Jerry: Well, yeah. But I don’t have to be. I know my line is shutting down. But, you know, I have a thing with numbers.
Kellogg’s Boss: Come on. You’ve served your time. These are your golden years.
Howard: Too Jerry. Not everybody can pull off forty-two years without getting fired.
Jerry: Every system can use an improvement.
Jerry: How do you make a living with only six clients?
Steve: I don’t. I just became an online travel agent.
Steve: Why do you always have to understand the reasoning behind everything?
Jerry: Oh, well, it’s the only way I can make sense of things.
Steve: How’s the boat?
Jerry: Water’s still too cold.
Steve: You don’t get in the water. That’s the point of the boat.
Jerry: How’s my account?
Steve: Speaking of cold. Two percent gains, which doesn’t sound like much, because it isn’t. Look, you got to be more aggressive. If you let me put that in stocks, I could probably get you ten percent. That would double your money in only…
Jerry: Seven point two seven years.
Steve: [referring to his calculator] Literally the only time I was going to get to use that today.
Jerry: It’s not gambling.
Steve: The lottery?
Jerry: Yep. There’s a way to win every time.
Steve: Are you having a stroke?
Jerry: There’s a loophole they didn’t see, and it’s right here in the math.
Steve: I don’t know what this says. Looks like the numbers a crazy man drew on his cell wall.
Jerry: It means that on the roll down weeks, you’re guaranteed to win.
Steve: That can’t be true.
Jerry: Why not?
Steve: Because it’s the lottery, Jerry. There’s a building of people in Detroit whose job it is to know how the numbers work. And they do.
Jerry: I cannot believe you are my accountant.
Steve: Part-time accountant. Full-time online travel agent.
Marge: You’re going to have to tell me what’s going on. I’m too old to wait it out.
Jerry: I missed my chance. I did everything I was supposed to do. Everything I had to do. Now it’s too late to do anything else.
Marge: Oh, your life isn’t over.
Jerry: Everybody seems to think it is.
Marge: Just because things didn’t work out the way you wanted, doesn’t mean they won’t. Good luck happens, same as bad. What?
Jerry: Good luck, it happens same as bad?
Marge: Yeah. It’s just math. What?
Jerry: Oh, man. What a dummy. Not you. Me. You’re a genius.
Steve: I mean, it’s like a regular travel agent, but it’s online, so people can act like animals when something doesn’t work out.
'It's Newton's law. If you push against something, it's going to push back.' - Jerry (Jerry and Marge Go Large) Click To Tweet
Jerry: But the math works. Drive for two hours, get a free burger. Offsets the cost of gas.
Dawn: I don’t eat meat, Dad.
Jerry: Oh, right. I’ll get the chicken.
Dawn: No, that’s still meat!
Dawn: [referring to Jerry] Is he okay?
Marge: He just doesn’t know the formula for “I miss you”.
Jerry: I’m playing the lottery, and I’m winning. I figured out the math, and I won fifteen thousand dollars. It’s stuffed inside the Frosted Mini-Wheats box.
Marge: Wow. I gave twenty dollars to Shirley’s lottery pool. I guess it’s not such a big deal now.
Jerry: I had to try it. I found this flaw in the game, and I had to find out if I was right.
Marge: Well, why didn’t you just tell me?
Jerry: I felt silly. We barely have enough money to retire on as it is. And this is no time to risk it.
Marge: Yes, it is.
Marge: It’s time to risk it. Because right now we’re losing something that matters even more.
Marge: I’ve waited forty years for it to be just us, and so far, we kind of suck at it.
Jerry: We have Jeopardy.
Marge: Oh, that’s not a thing. Jerry! I want to have fun! I want to have fun. Let’s be a little stupid. Huh? We got married when we were seventeen, so we know how to do it.
Jerry: Well, that’s true.
Marge: [to Jerry] We need something for us. I didn’t think it would be playing the lottery, but I’d rob a bank if it gave us something to talk about.
Jerry: The math works. You can see that. You’re an accountant.
Steve: Yeah. I mean, it looks right.
Marge: And Massachusetts isn’t that far.
Jerry: No, it’s only about a ten hour drive, if our truck doesn’t break down.
Marge: If it does, we’ll get a ride.
Steve: From whom?
Jerry: Yeah, they’re always looking for company.
Steve: To murder.
Marge: We’ll jump out if it gets weird.
Jerry: And they won’t even know that we have a duffle bag full of cash.
Marge: Yeah, we’ll keep that zipped up.
Jerry: Feels like we really are robbing a bank.
Marge: No. It’s going to be more fun.
Bill: How can I help you?
Jerry: We’d like to buy eight thousand WinFall tickets.
Bill: [turns to the small kid] I’m going to get you first.
Bill: Eight thousand WinFall tickets is like twenty-nine thousand dollars.
Jerry: No. Sixteen thousand.
Bill: Sixteen thousand dollars.
Jerry: And that is how much we brought.
Bill: Well, the machine prints a thousand tickets an hour, so you’ll be here all day. And let me tell you from experience, being here all day sucks. Because I’m here all day.
'Kiss a few frogs, then when you find your prince, you'll realize that the frogs are better, because they make you laugh.' - Marge (Jerry and Marge Go Large) Click To Tweet
Jerry: Sorry, the motel’s not so great.
Marge: The Pick and Shovel. Perfect name. Because it’s what you need to dig a grave.
Jerry: Reminds me of our wedding night. My dad gave me enough money to take you to the prom. But then I thought, “Heck, the prom ends at midnight. But a marriage, that lasts forever. And it’s twenty bucks cheaper.”
Marge: Which you spent on a Days Inn.
Jerry: On our honeymoon. Yeah.
Marge: Well, I’m glad we’re being crazy. I’d sleep in the car if I had to.
Jerry: Well, you may have to.
Marge: Did you ever think maybe the world wasn’t passing you by? Maybe you were meant to be here. To work in the factory, and to care about all these people the way you do, because the day would come when you could help them.
Jerry: What do you mean?
Marge: Well, you said the more we bet, the better the odds.
Jerry: I did say that.
Steve: So you want to start a corporation?
Jerry: Bring in the whole town. If we sell shares, we’ll have more capital to invest.
Marge: Go big or go home.
Jerry: Then we’ll split the profits with the shareholders.
Marge: Everybody rides.
Steve: Will you stop talking like that?
Marge: Sorry. I’m just really into it.
Jerry: She’s really into it. Because she knows it’ll work.
Marge: House always wins.
Steve: Stop it!
Steve: You really think people will come in on this?
Jerry: Yep. You did.
Steve: Yeah, but I’m a depressed widower with nothing to live for.
Jerry: Your mother and I are going into business.
Dawn: Are you selling her toffee or something?
Jerry: No. We’re going to play the lottery.
Jerry: We are betting forty thousand.
Bill: You guys drug dealers?
Marge: No. We’re professional lottery players.
Bill: I don’t think that’s a thing.
Marge: It is now.
'Your brain tells you that you see what other's don't. But in the end, you're just seeing less.' - Jerry (Jerry and Marge Go Large) Click To Tweet
Bill: Hey, I got two more shareholders. One of them’s got to rob his parents house real quick, but he’s definitely in.
Tyler: [to the students] The first thing you learn at Harvard is that you’re here for your future. Right? Second thing you learn is that’s all bulls**t. There is no future. There is just now waiting for you to take it. I found a flaw in the lottery. Okay? A way to beat the game every time, because nobody at the lottery figured out what I did. But it only works if you can bet big. So, tell your parents that you have new lab fees, or need books, or got an STD. Whatever it takes, because if we pull this off, then we are legends!
Howard: We’re bringing back the jazz festival.
Shirley: The best music is the music you make up as you go along.
Howard: Ah, I’m just sad we couldn’t have had it when Prince was around.
Shirley: He wouldn’t have come, Howard.
Howard: We’ll never know.
Jerry: [as they’re betting half a million in one play] It’ll take four days of betting, two machines, twelve hours a day.
Steve: Then why don’t you just bet the normal amount?
Jerry: Math. It’s Newton’s law. If you push against something, it’s going to push back. Now we discovered a flaw. But by using it, we’ve introduced a variable that changes it. And we don’t know how long this game is going to last.
Marge: Then we need to make as much money as we can, while we can. Get the festival going, and finish rebuilding before it pushes back.
Marge: Did that woman just rob you?
Bill: That’s my wife.
Marge: Wow. Well, she certainly seems spirited.
Bill: Yeah, she’s a spitfire. No, she’s just pi**ed off because I filed for divorce, and she didn’t ever think I’d be able to afford it.
Marge: Looks like money well spent.
Bill: Yeah. Kind of lost the magic ever since Steely Dan stopped touring.
Bill: You know, I need to find someone like you. Only younger.
Marge: Yeah, that started off great.
Bill: No, I mean, you know, just someone that’s still fertile. And their womb can have babies.
Marge: You’re not good at this.
Bill: Oh, I’m really not. Can you help me?
Marge: Well, my mother used to say, “Kiss a few frogs, then when you find your prince, you’ll realize that the frogs are better, because they make you laugh.”
Bill: Does laughing at you count?
Marge: Bill, you need a new frog.
Bill: I need a new frog.
Jerry: I think I still owe you a prom night.
Marge: [as they’re dancing] This was easier when I was sixteen.
Jerry: You’re even more beautiful now.
Marge: That’s the out-of-date champagne talking.
Eric: [to Jerry and Marge] You guys are the other group?
Tyler: We thought it was going to be like a crime syndicate or something.
Jerry: Well, I figured there would be somebody else.
Tyler: Me too. But I mean, I didn’t expect this. Look at you guys. It’s like Up.
Tyler: Look, we’re really only hurting each other by playing at the same time. So here’s a better offer. You join my group, add your capital to our pot, and we’ll handle all the betting.
Jerry: Well, I don’t know. We kind of like to do our own thing.
Tyler: What? You’ll get a cut without having to do anything. I have an army of bettors. You won’t even have to leave your rocking chairs.
Jerry: We’re good.
Tyler: You’re good at math. Yay! I’m sure that helps out on the farm, but at Harvard, we learn a little something called binomial distribution. Look it up. Then you’ll see why your odds are better when you fill out your own slips. You’re welcome.
Jerry: Binomial distribution only considers two factors. Not a third, which is human error, or a fourth, which is the time it takes for you to fill in the tickets. You gain a whooping thirty-two bucks for every hundred thousand dollars you win. You’re welcome.
Tyler: Shut up!
Marge: [to Jerry, referring to Tyler and Eric] I guess it wouldn’t be a prom without dumb teenagers.
Bill: Well, good luck to you, Candace. You know, we had a few good years there before it all turned to s**t. And I hope you find your frog.
Dawn: How did you guys do this for weeks?
Marge: Because it’s an adventure.
Dawn: Oh, no. This is not an adventure. It’s getting paper cuts in a motel filled with prostitutes and drug dealers.
Jerry: Well, Dawn, you don’t have to do it.
Dawn: Oh, no. No, I want to. I do. I mean, I never get to spend time with you guys. And, you know, feeling trapped in a gross hotel, filling bins with losing tickets is just a memory I will never ever forget.
Tyler: See, you’re not really as good at calculating people as you are numbers. So you haven’t really run the math on what somebody like me would do to win.
Jerry: And what would you do?
Tyler: Set an army of the smartest kids you’ve ever met against you and everyone you play with.
Jerry: Why are you doing this?
Tyler: It’s just math. Nothing personal. Look, you had a good run. You made some cash for Mayberry. But it’s over. Enjoy your golden years.
Jerry: [to the shareholders] I’m sad to report that, due to some new variables in the game, we’re going to have to stop playing.
Doug: So, you’re really going to let some college smart a** take all this away from you?
Jerry: The odds that he might do something outweigh the benefits.
Doug: It’s not about the math. It’s about being human.
Doug: [to Jerry] You know, Dad, I’ve watched you spend so much of your life just being overlooked and pushed around. You know, nobody knew what you could do. Nobody cared. And then you finally took your shot, and you brought us all with you. You know what you did? You made our little town feel big. That’s why they’re all in there. That’s why I was in there.
Jerry: You know, it’s never been a gift. It’s been a trick. Your brain tells you that you see what other’s don’t. But in the end, you’re just seeing less.
Jerry: I’m just trying to do the right thing.
Marge: Oh, you always do. I love that about you. And that’s why everyone in town trusts you to take a chance. The one thing I have never seen you do is give up on a problem before you find a solution.
Marge: Well, you’ve calculated Tyler’s threat, and the value of the game. But binomial distribution doesn’t consider the third factor. That as long as you and I have each other, we are not afraid to be stupid.
Jerry: You’re bat s**t crazy.
Eric: Hey. What happens if somebody wins the jackpot and we lose a million dollars?
Tyler: Beyond dropping out of school because I blew my entire tuition? I think one of those investors might actually kill me.
Tyler: Hey, Jerry. What, did you come riding in on your tractor to come give me a whooping?
Jerry: Believe me, I wanted to. Part of me still does. But then on the long drive here, well, most of that just went away. And I realized that I wasn’t really angry at you. I’m disappointed.
Tyler: Aw, you’re disappointed in me?
Jerry: No, not you. You’re insignificant. No, I was disappointed that I let a selfish kid like you get to me.
Jerry: [to Tyler] You told me that I was playing the lottery because I had nothing else. But the reason you won’t share the pot is because you have nothing else. You think being the smartest guy in the room is all that matters. But it turns out, it’s this room that matters. All these bright, young people helping you get rich. How are you helping them? Guess you haven’t run the math out on that, huh? Anyway, my tractor’s running. I wish you all the best of luck.
Tyler: [referring to Jerry] Alright, let’s break this guy. He wants a war? We’ll give him one.
Tyler: Where is everyone? We’re supposed to be betting.
Eric: Dude, it’s over. Nobody wants to do it anymore.
Tyler: What? Why? We’re winning.
Eric: No. We’re a**holes. And that doesn’t work for anybody but you.
Doug: You won’t even buy yourself a new truck?
Jerry: No. This one works.
Doug: Does it?
Jerry: Not all the time. But I think that’s why I like it.
Jerry: [to Doug] I counted nickels with you because it was something I understood. I didn’t know a better way to spend time with you. I just knew that I wanted to.
Jerry: Bill, what happened?
Bill: The lottery suspended our license!
Marge: [referring to Jerry] It was more than just a game to him. He finally got to use his gift to connect to people.
Jerry: [referring to their shareholders] I tried to answer all their questions in the newsletter.
Steve: I don’t think they know how to open the newsletter.
Steve: This town isn’t just a newspaper article, Jerry. It’s all of us. And you brought this town back from the dead when nobody else could, because you don’t think we’re just numbers.
Jerry: No. No. You’re family.
Marge: How badly do you want to go and just count all those tickets?
Jerry: It’s taking everything in me not to do it right now.
Marge: I’m going to miss it.
Jerry: Yeah. Me too.
Marge: I kind of wish we’d won the jackpot. Just once.
Jerry: I won the jackpot before we ever started.
Bill: Jerry and Marge dissolved our betting group when the WinFall game was phased out. They used most of their lottery winnings to start a construction loan business for the town of Evart. Like many of their friends and neighbors, they also put their children and grandchildren through school. I myself invested in a very luxurious man cave. Jerry did finally give in and buy himself a new truck, which was actually slightly used. Because he calculated that was a smarter purchase. And he would know. His lottery calculation won a grand total of twenty-seven million dollars.