The Reel Review

B

Mild-mannered Mel is in the middle of a divorce and is struggling to keep her bakery afloat. When Danny, her rowdy, truck driving, arm wrestling best friend discovers Mel has a hidden talent, off they go to Oklahoma City to win the Women’s National Arm Wrestling Championship and save Mel’s business, in this buddy comedy.

Mary Holland, Betsy Sodaro and Dot-Marie Jones in Golden Arm.

This charming story of female empowerment from screenwriters Anne Marie Allison and Jenna Milly is reminiscent of the Netflix women’s pro wrestling series GLOW, with a dash of Bridesmaids. It’s consistently quirky and funny without making fun of its characters. Mary Holland (Happiest Season) and Betsy Sodaro, with her likably loud John Belushi-ness, have great on-screen chemistry. The fun ensemble cast includes Dot-Marie Jones (Glee), comedian Aparna Nancherla and Kate Flannery (Meredith from The Office).

Mary Holland in Golden Arm

As predictable and hokey as it is, Golden Arm is a sweet, silly story about enduring friendship and pushing one another to overcome fears and gain self-confidence. The evolution of the personas Mel creates for herself during the big competition is also pretty hilarious. Despite a semi-sluggish midsection, Golden Arm rallies to end with a rousing, big, badass takedown.

REEL FACTS

Ahmed Bharoocha and Golden Arm director Maureen Bharoocha

Golden Arm director Maureen Bharoocha previously was a segment director for Jimmy Kimmel Live. Her brother and writing partner Ahmed appears in Golden Arm as Jerry, the competition assistant.

• Not only did comedian Mary Holland co-star in 2020’s Happiest Season. She also co-wrote the script with its director, Clea DuVall.

Golden Arm was filmed in Oklahoma City.

 

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