Lay the Favorite


Lay the Favorite

Critics Consensus

A clumsy misstep for director Stephen Frears, Lay the Favorite puts all its chips on endearing quirk only to go bust.



Total Count: 51


Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,486
User image

Watch it now

Lay the Favorite Photos

Movie Info

Beth Raymer leaves her dancing job at a Florida strip club to become a Las Vegas cocktail waitress. Not exactly an ideal career choice, but her borderline-ditzy personality doesn't give her many options. In walks Dink, 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, 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.


News & Interviews for Lay the Favorite

Critic Reviews for Lay the Favorite

All Critics (51) | Top Critics (20) | Fresh (9) | Rotten (42)

Audience Reviews for Lay the Favorite

  • Apr 27, 2014
    In "Lay the Favorite," Beth(Rebecca Hall) figures it is time to get out of the private dancing business when the customers start to get creepy. So, seeking a change of scenery, she moves to Las Vegas to become a cocktail waitress. Except it is not that easy. But through Holly(Laura Prepon), she learns that Dink(Bruce Willis) is hiring for his gambling business. Not only does he hire Beth but Dink takes a real liking to her which sort of does not sit well with his wife Tulip(Catherine Zeta-Jones). "Lay the Favorite" proves the old adage that any movie that has more of Vince Vaughn than Wendell Pierce is in serious trouble. That's actually the least of this lackuster movie's problems because maybe there could have been a decent movie made about these real life gamblers but this is not it. As much a rut as director Stephen Frears has been in lately("Philomena" succeeded mostly due to the quality of its performances), his work could never be described as slap dash until now, as this movie definitely feels rushed with a definite lack of singular direction. At least, Rebecca Hall is a joy being cast supremely against type while also sharing rapport with Catherine Zeta-Jones in their scenes together.
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 10, 2013
    Silly script...pointless.
    Cynthia S Super Reviewer
  • Jul 22, 2013
    How can you have Bruce Willis and Catherine Zeta-Jones in a movie, and not a bad director like Stephen Frears, and still make something which simply SUCKS! Based on Beth Raymer's memoir of the same title, the film follows a young, free-spirited woman as she journeys through the legal and illegal world of sports gambling. Beth Raymer (Hall) decides to leave behind her life as a stripper in Florida and moves to Las Vegas to become a cocktail waitress in a glitzy casino - her dream job. But, it is easier said than done and she starts working instead for Dink (Willis), a kind and idiosyncratic sports gambler. Dink starts admiring her when she shows him how good she is with numbers, but that is a cause for the ire of Dink's wife, Tulip (Zeta-Jones). It is a movie, based on a true story, and is supposed to be a heartfelt comedy of finding friendship in the least likely places... after watching it I will tell you that is just a boring movie using a book which was boring itself! Don't waste time on this one.
    Panta O Super Reviewer
  • Mar 10, 2013
    "Lay the Favourite" is one of those fluff movies that in 5 years, you'll watch pieces of on USA network. It's mildly entertaining, has good stars, but overall just isn't very good. About a girl who comes to vegas to be a cocktail waitress and she gets involved with a bookie, Dink(Bruce Willis). They work together, and she eventually wants more, but he is married to Tulip(Cathrine Zeta Jones), and then from there the movie goes to into like 3 different directions. Starts out decent, but then just spirals downward. The performances aren't very good as Willis and Jones either overact or look like they don't care. Vince Vaughn has a small role, and really I think he should have been in it a lot more and the movie could have been better. OK for a one time watch if nothing else is on and you don't care if the movie is good or not.
    Everett J Super Reviewer

Lay the Favorite Quotes

News & Features