Tragedy of a Celebrity Junkie
Release Date: December 17, 2008
Runtime: 109 minutes
Distributor: Fox Searchlight Pictures
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Producer: Darren Aronofsky and Scott Franklin
Writer: Robert D. Siegel
Address Comments To:Peter Rice, President
Fox Searchlight Pictures
20th Century Fox Film Corp.
A division of Fox, Inc. and News Corp.
10201 West Pico Blvd., Bldg. 38
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone: (310) 369-1000
Fax: (310) 369-2359
Mickey Rourke stars as Randy “The Ram” Robinson, a middle-aged wrestler who found fame and glory in the 1980s. Now, 20 years later, he’s still wrestling in minor events, living hand-to-mouth off his former glory days. Randy is interested in a local stripper, Cassidy, played by Marisa Tomei, but she is wary of getting involved with a customer, especially someone who’s clearly down and out.
After a brutal bout involving a staple gun, Randy suffers a heart attack. The doctors tell him that he has to quit wrestling, including quit popping all the steroids and pain killers he’s taking. Obediently, Randy obliges. He even decides to renew bonds with his estranged daughter, Stephanie, and takes a deli job at a grocery store that’s been hiring him to move boxes of goods.
Cassidy the stripper, who’s also growing too old for her “profession,” starts becoming attracted to this cleaned-up version of the wrestler. When, however, she backs away from getting involved, Randy goes off the wagon, which leads to the movie’s final tragedy.
THE WRESTLER is powerfully told and even redemptive at times, but it is a tragedy about a celebrity junkie who eventually destroys himself. Unable to cope in his personal life, Randy seeks the adulation and adrenaline that comes from being a crowd-pleasing wrestler, but that’s what kills him in the end. Ultimately, therefore, this is an extremely depressing movie. Adding insult to injury is the movie’s extreme level of foul language, violence and sexual content, along with some explicit nudity. It is not a movie that MOVIEGUIDE® recommends, despite Mickey Rourke’s duly acclaimed performance.
THE WRESTLER is powerfully told and even redemptive at times, but it is a tragedy about a celebrity junkie who eventually destroys himself. Ultimately, therefore, this is an extremely depressing movie. Even worse, the movie contains explicit and extreme foul language, violence, sex, and nudity.