Probably everyone has fantasized about how wonderful it would be to win the lottery and get rid of all life’s worries overnight, at least in the material sense. This is exactly what the title characters of this populist and rather thin biographical comedy drama, which was directed by the already experienced David Frankel (The Devil Wears Prada, Marley and I) based on Brad Copeland’s screenplay, will succeed. Once it’s time to retire, Jerry (Bryan Cranston) will be faced with the question of what to do with himself and all that free time in one of those typical American sleepy towns in Michigan. He never had a hobby and subordinated everything to the welfare of the company where he spent all 42 years of his working life, and everyone looked down on him as a simple and modest guy who never protested or complained.
And while his wife Marge (Annette Bening) tries to encourage him to spend the time of retirement while they are still healthy and able to enjoy life, the excellent mathematician Jerry will find an interesting occupation. He will understand that in one type of lottery there is a trick that always wins. He invented a system of the game of large numbers in which it is crucial to have high stakes and winnings are guaranteed. He will start investing his entire retirement fund in the lottery, and when he realizes that his system works, Jerry and Marge will involve practically everyone in their town in the game. The only problem is that this type of lottery does not exist in Michigan, and every month they will have to go to Massachusetts more than a thousand kilometers away to pay the tickets.
Another problem is that Jerry is clearly not the only one who discovered a loophole in the system, because a student from Harvard saw the same soon after, so playing the lottery will turn into a game of outwitting two excellent mathematicians. “Jerry and Marge Go Large” was one of those unpretentious, folksy movies with a somewhat utopian message, because Jerry and Marge will not play for their own material gain, but will create a fund in which all their friends and acquaintances will participate in order to improve living conditions in their small town. However, even though the film was shot based on real events and real people, it was shot quite superficially, very populist, and instead of a sympathetic and charming character study, as it seemed at the beginning, it will turn into a rather banal attempt to feel- good movie.