And They're Off

And They're Off

Cheri Oteri and Sean Astin in AND THEY'RE OFF..., a film directed by Rob Schiller. Picture courtesy Kinobild Releasing. All rights reserved.

And They're Off (2011)

Opened: 10/28/2011 Limited

Theaters (10+)10/28/2011
AMC Empire 2510/28/2011 - 11/03/20117 days

Trailer: Click for trailer

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Genre: Comedy

Rated: PG-13 for some crude and sexual references.


It's the exciting and unpredictable world of thoroughbred horse racing... and no trainer loves his horses more and wins less than Dusty Sanders (Sean Astin).

It's been a rough week for Dusty. One of his beloved horses has been claimed by trainer Doug O'Neill (played by the actual trainer), and his losing streak forces other owners to take their business elsewhere. To make matters worse, his longtime jockey girlfriend, Dee (Cheri Oteri), breaks up with him for not inviting her to his high school reunion and his neophyte groomer Julian (Lil JJ) is forced to go back to his job at the local pet store cleaning fish tanks. And now, Dusty Sanders is a trainer with nothing to train.

His overprotective father and former horse transportation driver, Ken (Martin Mull), worries constantly and is doubtful his son will ever make it in this competitive world. So he encourages him to look at other possible careers with animals, and he's got an "in" with a good friend in taxidermy (Kevin Nealon) who may have an opening. Dusty's father's concerns are justified - Dusty's unorthodox training methods of bringing in a Feng Shui master to the barns and showing inspirational video clips from Seabiscuit and the like have not worked. So the losing streak continues - but in no way discourages a determined Dusty.

At his high school reunion, Dusty regales his classmates about the exciting world of horse racing and spends time chatting with his former teacher, Keri Wannamaker-Flamm (Gigi Rice) and her husband, infomercial huckster and "Dried Fruit King", Alex Flamm (Mark Moses). Both are very impressed that Dusty is a professional trainer in such a glamorous world.

This chance meeting gets Dusty back into the world he loves, when the Flamms and their friends, Sebastian (Peter Jacobson) and Tina (Mo Collins), claim a colt named Caveat. They believe that with the right trainer, this racehorse could go all the way to the Kentucky Derby and they place their bets with Dusty as he signs on to train Caveat. When it's time, the owners pick Dee to be their jockey, creating a somewhat awkward trainer/jockey working relationship.

With big dreams, our group watches Caveat struggle with race after race, eventually ending up in the Bunson Swine Mile, the biggest race at the San Joaquin County Fair. It's a race Dusty believes Caveat can win, but there's one problem -- Dee is on suspension as a result of a recent post-race emotional "incident" where she took a swing at another jockey on the track. Without Dee, Dusty is forced to ask another jockey to ride, a decision that infuriates Dee. But the suspension stands unless Dee can change the steward's minds and get to the big race in time.

"And They're Off..." stars Sean Astin , Cheri Oteri (Saturday Night Live), Martin Mull (Mrs. Doubtfire), Mark Moses (Desperate Housewives), Gigi Rice (A Night at The Roxbury), James "Lil'JJ" Lewis (Just Jordan), Peter Jacobson (House, Transformers), Mo Collins (The 40 Year Old Virgin), Alex Rocco (The Godfather) and Luis Chavez (Ocean's Thirteen, Crash) with special appearances by Kevin Nealon (Saturday Night Live) and Dot Marie Jones (Glee).

Trainers Bob Baffert and Doug O'Neill play themselves in the pic. Baffert has won the Kentucky Derby three times and was inducted into Thoroughbred Racing's Hall of Fame in Saratoga. O'Neill trained the legendary "Lava Man" and has three Breeder's Cup victories in the last six years. Trainer John Sadler and jockeys Joe Talamo and Martin Garcia also have cameos.

The film is directed by Rob Schiller (King of Queens, Two and a Half Men) from a script by Alan Grossbard; produced by Grossbard (Zerophilia), Pamela Fryman (How I Met Your Mother) and Howard Bolter (E! Entertainment), and distributed by Kinobild Releasing.