The Amateurs Review
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Andy Sargentee (Jeff Bridges) is one big loser who can’t seem to get it right. He manages to grossly antagonize every boss he’s ever had (and I mean that literally), and therefore he can’t keep a job. His ex-wife is now married to a successful millionaire, and she has custody of their son. Also, the citizens of his small town of Butterface Fields worry every time it even looks like he’s thinking—because that could only mean trouble…for everyone.

One dangerous day, while Andy’s deliberating on how to become a success in his own eyes as well as those of his son—oh yes, and how to make some serious dough at the same time—he comes up with the perfect idea: make an adult movie. A porno. What would make this film unique is that not only would it be amateurish but it would also be a major project for an entire town.

Andy manages to get some financing, in turn giving each contributor a key executive role in the making of the movie. The writer/director works at a four-hour drive-thru photo and is nicknamed Some Idiot (Joe Pantoliano). The cinematographer, Emmett (Patrick Fugit), works at the local video rental. What better qualifications do you need? Otis (William Fichtner) wants the job of just watching and is therefore made executive producer. Obstacles keep presenting themselves. How do you actually find actors? Will they meet your expectations? And how can you shoot a porno without actually watching?

The hilarious situations created by these rather innocent filmmakers will keep you in stitches. The cast is superb. Ted Danson plays Moose, a closet gay who jumps at the idea of this venture, allowing him the opportunity to flaunt his supposed heterosexuality. Unbeknownst to him, this close-knit town knows each of its citizens far too well. And it’s nice seeing the comical Valerie Perrine again after all of these years. Perrine plays V, a stripper—and, although she’s over 60, no one seems to notice. Still, it’s Bridges who steals the show.

The Amateurs is an unpretentious, light-hearted comedy that definitely lacks subtlety. Though it won’t go down in cinematic history as a comedy classic, it will provide enough laughs for that perfect Sunday matinee.

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