Mike Flaherty is struggling to keep his law practice afloat. He doesn't tell his wife or kids about his money problems, but pretty soon, they will go under. He makes a small stipend as the high school wrestling coach, but even that isn't remotely enough. When Leo, an elderly client dealing with dementia, has no one nearby to live with, Mike sees an opportunity to make some extra money and asks the judge to make him Leo's guardian. The deal: take care of Leo and get $1500 a month for your troubles. Mike makes the deal, puts Leo in a nursing home, and keeps the money to himself. A problem arises when Leo's grandson, Kyle, has run away from home across the country to come stay with Leo. Mike lets the kid live with them, and when Kyle acts out and runs away again at night, Mike discovers that Kyle's home life is terrible-- no father, a drug addict mother who'd been living with her boyfriend before getting shipped off to rehab, and no prospects for improvement. Mike's wife takes pity on the kid, and he's allowed to stay with them as part of the family. One day, with Kyle sitting around Mike's wrestling practice, they discover he's an unbelievable wrestler, so Mike enrolls him at the high school. With Kyle's help, Mike's wrestling team begins moving from the bottom of the standings back towards the top. However, when Kyle's mother shows up in hopes of insuring she can keep Leo's significant estate in her family, Kyle is furious that she's only there for the money. When it's revealed that Mike is only caring for Leo for the money as well, Kyle runs away, nowhere to be found. It's up to Mike to find Kyle and sort everything out, making what was once a win-win situation right again.
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Best part of story, including ending:
It's a charming slice of life, with a great underdog sports story at the heart of it, and Paul Giamatti is a lovely leading actor to carry a story like this.
Best scene in story:
When Kyle first shows that he is a gifted wrestler, Mike and his best friend/assistant coach Terry freak out with happiness in a hilarious fashion.
Opinion about the main character:
Mike makes a morally ambiguous decision early on in taking the money for Leo, but we see why he did it: he wants to keep his job and his family. He earns our sympathy with his care for Kyle throughout.