Chump Change

"Good"

Chump Change Review


Stephen Burrows directs, writes, and stars in a film about Stephen Burrows. Why is it not called Stephen Burrows? Unclear, but Chump Change is both a sometimes funny movie and a seriously disjointed mess.

Seriously, Chump Change follows Burrows' real-life adventures in Hollywood. A Wisconsin doughboy, Burrows stars in a jock itch commercial, but can't get any more work in L.A. Eventually he gets into a feud over an outburst on Wheel of Fortune, which culminates in his becoming a minor celebrity even while he has dropped out by returning to Wisconsin. Burrows encounters a cast of kooky characters -- from cliched brain-dead agents to milk-fed local girls in cow country (most memorable among them are Tim Matheson as Burrows' primary contact in L.A. and Traci Lords as his galpal back home). From one random encounter to another, Burrows celebrates his up-and-coming success as a comedy screenwriter, while making gentle fun of his quaint home town (in other words, prepare for lots of drive-by shots of Milwaukee hot dog stands).

Burrows narrates the entire movie, barely stopping to take a breath. It all comes off in the end as a pale imitation of The Big Picture, which follows a nearly identical -- and absurd -- track from the bottom of the Hollywood scene to the top and back again and again. Burrows appears in virtually every scene (and if he's not in it, he's jabbering on top of it), which makes him come off like a real narcissist. Unfortunately for him, he has no reason to be, as his story ultimately has nothing in it that hasn't been told in dozens of other tales -- aside from the Merv lawsuit and a surplus of polka.

The sum of Chump Change is about 30 minutes of genius comedy padded with another hour of material that doesn't quite work. Burrows is trying to show off what a Hollywood insider he is -- while making a movie about not living in Hollywood. It never quite works, and we never quite care. The stories that take place in the two locations are inconsequential to one another. Burrows keeps trying to fire off gags on the DVD, by offering not just a commentary track but a tongue-in-cheek "commentary to the commentary" as well wherein he simply says the commentary track blows. Burrows is strangely humble and self-important at the same time: One special feature has Burrows reading off actual test screening comments to the camera. Most are negative, but Burrows is intent on pointing out all the misspellings in the comments.

Geez, I hope I spelled all the words right in this review.



Chump Change

Facts and Figures

Run time: 89 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 7th January 2004

Distributed by: Miramax

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

IMDB: 6.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Milwaukee Steve, as Sam, as Simon Sez Simone, as The Colonel

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.