The Hero

Sam Elliott isn't just a pretty face. In fact, a few of the award-worthy scenes in this one prove he is truly an ACTOR. If you need someone to be convincing as an "ailing movie star" Sam Elliott can do the job, but HE certainly isn't ailing. In fact, Elliott seems to be just hitting his stride. He is still popular and still working in high-profile roles.

Writer/director Brett Haley ("I'll See You in My Dreams"), collaborating once again with screenwriter Marc Basch, brings us our favorite heartthrob for "people of a certain age." His ailing movie star has to confront his past, deal with his present, and prepare for his future.

Part of Haley's cast:
  • Sam Elliott ("The Ranch") Lee Hayden is our titular Hero. "The Hero" was the name of his most popular Western film and he has been an icon for over 40 years, so his trendy stubble makes him look grizzled, not stylish. He isn't comfortable with social media but he CAN text!
  • Katharine Ross ("Slip, Tumble & Slide") plays his ex-wife Valarie (Ross has been Elliott's real-life spouse for over 30 years). Valarie is an artist with an upcoming art show.
  • Laura Prepon ("Girl on the Train") Charlotte Dylan is an ambitious young woman who remains a cypher to me all the way through. She is clearly pleasing to Lee, but I was put off by her cruel stand-up routine and her smirk.
  • Nick Offerman ("The Founder") Hayden's buddy Jeremy Frost provides him with endless quantities of controlled substances. They have been buddies ever since they shot a short-lived TV series together years ago.
  • Krysten Ritter ("Jessica Jones") is the Haydens' semi-alienated daughter Lucy. She feels as though she has spent her entire life watching him leave.
  • Doug Fox (Lots of TV) is the doctor who gives Lee the bad news.
As you might expect with an R-rated script, there will be a LOT of profanity and some sex; a LOT of alcohol and some drugs; but no vehicular mayhem or gunshots. We see clips from Lee's film as he remembers them (his character has grey hair, unlike how it must have been 40 years ago), and his award ceremony is one for the books. He is usually taciturn to the point of being downright rude. Sometimes I just want to yell at a character, "Tell her!"

This one is a mixed bag. There were parts I really liked and some were downright icky. YOYO (You're On Your Own).
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Here is a trailer:
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