The Amateurs

"Very Good"

The Amateurs Review


Andy (Jeff Bridges) is, as they say, an idea man. He mopes and mopes until a brainstorm hits him and launches him out of the bar: Say, getting everyone in his small town to sell vitamins in a pyramid scheme, only to find that, if everyone's selling, no one's buying.

An idea man, you see.

Andy's latest idea is to grab a bit of the billion-dollar porn industry by bringing the town together to produce an amateur adult movie. Naturally, everyone, despite being burned numerous times by Andy in the past, will pour their money into the film all the same.

Such is the setup of the goofily fun The Amateurs, which despite some laugh-out-loud moments and a cast of stars that includes Bridges, Ted Danson, Joe Pantoliano, Lauren Graham, and Jeanne Tripplehorn, among others, immediately crashed at the box office and all but went straight to DVD.

If I had to guess what the problem was, I'd wager it's Bridges' incessant ha-ha-folksy-we're-all-in-on-it voice-over narration, which lends the film the feeling of a crazy old coot talking your ear off when you're trapped next to him on a long bus ride. Bridges' Andy seems like a swell guy -- kind of like The Big Lebowski's Dude, but with ambition -- but his tale's wandering, random, "we're skipping ahead here" nature wears you down too fast as it becomes apparent that writer/director Michael Traeger is really just fishing for scenes so he can set us up for a gag.

While it can be tiresome, that's not entirely bad way to get people to laugh: Andy's attempts to make a porn movie -- something he knows nothing about -- are naturally comedic. His "research" generates a list of five "must have" scenes for the film -- the funniest of which include his hapless attempts to cast and shoot a scene involving the local ice cream shop counter girl being savaged by "three giant black guys." An early script includes a plot that involves sex on top of a speeding train and a nuclear bomb being defused. And in the film's longest-running joke, Danson's Moose attempts to prove he's not gay (which, of course, he is) by agreeing to bed a local, aging stripper on camera, with all the expected consequences.

The Amateurs, which, by the way, has only the occasional butt-shot in the way of nudity and is completely approachable for couples looking for something for date night, is ultimately heartwarming and humorous enough to merit a recommendation, though the sappy ending rings a little false. Once again, the Dude abides.

Aka The Moguls.

Which way to the keg?



Facts and Figures

Run time: 96 mins

In Theaters: Friday 28th April 2006

Distributed by: First Look Studios

Production compaines: First Look International

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 15%
Fresh: 4 Rotten: 22

IMDB: 6.4 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Aaron Ryder

Starring: as Andy, as Peggy, as Moose, as Barney, as Some Idiot, as Emmett, as Otis, as Moe, as Helen, as Thelma, as Howard, as Ellie, as Mrs. Cherkiss, as Wally, as Homer, as Billy, as Boy at Concession Stand

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

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...

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The kill-or-die scenario that this movie hinges on isn't something new; it's been used in...

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

Advertisement
A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

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.