Win it All is the type of film that approaches life in the most naturalistic way; it’s the type of film that tells a story that would be nearly, but not quite unbelievable if it was told by a friend, but doesn’t feel like anything special as a film. This is the film’s brilliance; it feels like a real story, and it’s the film’s plausibility that makes it so compelling. While there are some familiar moments, director Joe Swanberg creates a great character piece with a fantastic lead performance by Jake Johnson.
Eddie Garret (Jake Johnson) is a gambling addict who’s forced to rethink his life after losing $20,000 he swore to protect. Garret goes back to work his way out of debt, finding a job and romance, but after his new life is threatened by the debt he owes, Garret must revert to his former life in order to protect all that he’s worked for. It’s a deviously simple story, and the simplicity allows Swanberg to focus on the mundane humor and inspiration found in life.
To say Jake Johnson is brilliant here is an understatement; Johnson is the charming screw up friend that everyone has, but it’s his desire to change that makes him such a relateable character. The film is effectively short at 88 minutes, combining a solid arc for Johnson with a surprisingly suspenseful ending. Sweet, funny, and at points inspiring, Win it All is another winner for Netflix. Grade: B