Monday, January 5, 2009

A Frank Review of "The Amateurs" (2007)

The Short Version? Small Town Irregulars make an amateur porno.
What Is It? Indie Comedy.
Who's In It? Jeff Bridges & a cast of dozens.
Should I See It? Probably not.

So here's the thing-- I saw this movie-- Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Pretty much the same movie, but released after "The Moguls," now known as "The Amateurs," which has been on the festival circuit since 2005. The main difference is that while a lackluster effort itself, the Kevin Smith movie was funny. "The Amateurs" isn't, and is similarly saccharine to boot. It's totally limp on the comedy front. No laughs at all.

The only reason to watch this picture is the inexplicably great cast. Jeff Bridges' performance is wonderful, and thanks to his narration, there's nary a scene untouched by his magic. It's been too long since I've seen Glenne Headly in anything, and this reminded me that I've missed her. When was the last time you saw Valerie Perrine in anything, and hey, it's Ms. Teschmacher in a threeway? I also like William Fichtner in pretty much anything, and he's great here in a minor role. Brad Garrett and Elden Henson are good in a one scene skit. Melinda Dahl so authentically delivers what should have been a lame monologue, I want to see how she handles herself in future projects.

The cast is so large, that there is a good deal of waste. Tim Blake Nelson is nice, but pretty much sleepwalks. Lauren Graham has more screen time in the making-of documentary on the DVD than the actual film. Joe Pantoliano's character is actually named "Some Idiot," but he doesn't quite sell it. Jeanne Tripplehorn, Isaiah Washington, Steven Weber, Judy Greer and Patrick Fugit are in this movie, technically.

So yeah-- that's it. If you love Jeff Bridges, absolutely check this out. He's great, and y'know, his resume between "The Door in the Floor" and "Iron Man" was pretty dubious. Otherwise, man, just don't. It's pretty bad. If you put forth a bit of effort, you can probably find an actual porno with stronger characters and a better script.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"When was the last time you saw Valerie Perrine in anything...?"

Check out "Redirecting Eddie" -- she has a small role, but she's actually quite good!!!

Oh, and if you donate $2 to the charities from the official movie site they will send you a copy of the movie on DVD for free (limited time promotion)!!!


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