Robin Ramzinski (Mickey Rourke), better known by his ring name Randy “The Ram” Robinson, is a professional wrestler who became a celebrity in the 1980s. Now past his prime, Randy wrestles on weekends for independent promotions in New Jersey while working part-time at a supermarket under Wayne (Todd Barry), a demeaning manager who mocks Randy’s wrestling background.
A regular at a strip club, he befriends a stripper, Cassidy (Marisa Tomei) who like Randy, is getting old for her job. After winning a local match, Randy agrees to a proposed 20th anniversary rematch against his most notable opponent, The Ayatollah (Ernest Miller).
Randy intensifies his training, which includes steroid injections. After wrestling in a hardcore match, Randy suffers a heart attack backstage and receives coronary artery bypass surgery. His doctor tells him that his heart can no longer handle the stress of wrestling so Randy retires and begins working a full-time shift behind the deli counter at the supermarket.
At Cassidy’s suggestion, Randy visits his estranged adult daughter Stephanie (Evan Rachel Wood), whom he had abandoned when she was a child, but Stephanie rebuffs him. While helping Randy buy a gift for Stephanie, Cassidy reveals that she has a son.
Randy makes romantic advances on her, which she rejects on the grounds of her job. Later, Randy gives the gifts to his daughter and apologizes. The two bond over a visit to a beachfront boardwalk and they agree to meet for dinner on the coming Saturday. Randy goes to Cassidy’s strip club to thank her, but she once more rejects him, resulting in a heated exchange and great disappointment for Randy.
Character to watch: Mickey Rourke as Randy “The Ram” Robinson.
Journal your answers to the following questions after you watch the movie.
- How does this particular character’s journey compare with yours?
- Did the character develop certain characteristics during the movie that you have or that you would like to have? If so, what are those characteristics?
- What obstacles did this character face? What was his or her biggest challenge?
- What would you have done differently if you had been in the same position as the character?
- Is this character the type of person you would be friends with? Why or why not?