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The Amateurs

75 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Sex sells in America and these guys know it. When Andy (Jeff Bridges) discovers that his ex-wife has married an extremely wealthy man who is now his son’s "cool" stepfather, he becomes motivated to make a change in his life. With the help of his friends (Ted Danson, Joe Pantoliano) a small town group of loveable losers, they hit upon an idea to make their dreams come true. The grand plan that will lead to a life of riches and fame is to make the world’s most innocent adult film. Everyman’s fantasy turns into a hilarious misadventure when they find that they’re way in over their heads.

Writer-director Michael Traeger presides over an impressive group of actors in The Amateurs, a 2005 film that, due to various distribution problems, took more than two years to reach theaters (in late '07). But it's unlikely that Jeff Bridges, Ted Danson, Joe Pantoliano, William Fichtner, Lauren Graham, Glenne Headley, Tim Blake Nelson, Jeanne Tripplehorn, and the other cast members will be putting it very high on their resumes, as this is a whole that's decidedly less than the sum of its parts. Bridges, who manages to suggest some of the same slacker charm he brought to his iconic role as The Dude in The Big Lebowski, plays Andy Sargentee, a small town loser (the burg in question is called Butterface Falls) who can't hold a job and has passively surrendered his ex-wife (Tripplehorn) and son to a guy rich enough to install a basketball court in the kid's bedroom. When Andy decides that he's finally "had enough of not having enough," he comes up with a cockeyed plan to make a porn film, with his pals serving as producer, director, and crew, and various local gals as the onscreen talent (or so the guys hope). It's an amusing setup, but while the actors appear to be having a good time, the movie just isn't very funny (it's also hampered by an array of appalling stereotypes; Danson's character, who wants to be called Moose because he can't admit that he's gay, is little more than a gallery of fey mannerisms, while the women, with the notable exception of Graham, are largely depicted as desperate, stupid, or both). Traeger tries to salvage the proceedings with a feel-good twist ending, but The Amateurs (which contains no nudity, premise notwithstanding) is pretty much a lost cause by then. --Sam Graham

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Jeff Bridges, Ted Danson, Tim Blake Nelson, Lauren Graham
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Alchemy / Millennium
  • DVD Release Date: February 12, 2008
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000XJ5UEY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,045 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Amateurs" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Edwin C. Pauzer VINE VOICE on April 7, 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The low-key effect of the film grabbed my attention from the beginning as actor Jeff Bridges began his narration of his life in the little town of Butterface Field. He introduced the characters while playing his character engaged in troubled thought, sitting alone, in the local restaurant bar.

Bridges is Andy Sargentee, a husband and father who places his impulses above the economic viability of the family by relieving himself on the desks of every supervisor he has had (and despises). His wife, played by Jeanne Triplehorn, sets off into divorce and the sunset with the station wagon and their son.

Bridges only support now is the town of Butterface Field, the place in which he was born and raised. The townsfolk know him well enough especially when he is about to come up with a brainstorm, which they are apprehensive about. Friends and neighbors at adjacent tables see the mental storm brewing. (He led them into a Ponzi scheme before just when the tulip bubble bubbled, proving his brainstorm nothing more than a light drizzle).

But now, he's got it!

He and the town will make a fortune creating a genuine, amateur porn film! He quickly enlists his friends to invest their meager sum and even more meager talents as actors, writers, directors and so on. They also have to get girls for the part, and enlist Black actors for their presumed assets. They find a young, counter girl from an ice cream store, an aging stripper, and a bedding store saleswoman, who insists on getting it on with the storeowner.

Jeff Bridges, Ted Danson, Joe Pantoliano, William Fichtner, Lauren Graham, Glenne Headley, Tim Blake Nelson, and Jeanne Tripplehorn make this "light" film work along with the superb direction of Michael Traegor. No actor overplays his or her part.
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38 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 27, 2008
Format: DVD
THE AMATEURS is about as close to the quality of British film comedies (a high compliment indeed!) as we have seen, thanks to writer/director Michael Traeger. It is everything a small town community aura represents without the stumbling blocks of cruelty that so often provide the turning point in 'rural stories' that defame the simple homespun humanity that is too often foreign to the big city life. Perhaps to refer to it as 'sweet' will rile some review readers, but for this viewer the overriding emotion at the close of the story is just that - sweet, in the finest sense of the term.

The film is narrated by the down and out, unemployed, newly divorced middle-aged crisis victim Andy Sargentee (Jeff Bridges) who spends his time in the local watering hole trying to come up with an idea that will change his fortune - and life. Giving up his marriage to Thelma (Jeanne Tripplehorn) and his son Billy (Alex D. Linz) has been painful but Andy believes he will somehow regain their respect by discovering his 'big idea'. Surrounding him are other underachievers such as Some Idiot (Joe Pantoliano), Barney Macklehatton (Tim Blake Nelson) hopelessly in love with loony dreamer Helen (Glenne Headly), church janitor Otis (William Fichtner), local video store worker and video buff Emmett (Patrick Fugit), Moe/Ron (John Hawkes and Brad William Henke) who are never seen alone, the closeted gay Moose (Ted Danson), and bartender Floyd (Tom Bower) among other 'observers'. A wild idea occurs to Andy: he and his friends could make an amateur porn film and make money and gain fame. Out of both love of Andy and individual needs to make something of their boring existence in the little town, the group commits to helping Andy with his project.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By terpfan1980 VINE VOICE on February 15, 2008
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I can't quite put this up at the 5 star level, but it's awfully close.

Big props to the cast here as they really do a great job here and seem perfectly cast for the roles each is asked to play.

Lead actor Jeff Bridges puts on a great performance as a man (Andy Sargentee) that is looking for his one big break, but unfortunately has failed at everything he's ever tried. Early on we find that he lost his wife because he's just not able to be responsible and can't take care of his family because of his lack of steady income. His son's birthday comes up and he goes to the store to buy a gift for him only to realize he just can't afford the one he feels is right. Real embarassment kicks in when he goes to his wife's new home and finds that it isn't just a big home, it's a complete mansion.

From that embarassment springs inspiration as Andy sits deep in thought in the town bar. Eventually he's inspired to make a porn movie with the help and support of his friends, a cast of some of the weirdest and wildest characters you'd ever find assembled.

This film isn't a continuous laugh fest, but it is very entertaining. Some parts would seem predictable, but the story does a good job of planting timely distractions and diversions along the way that keep things very fresh.

While the movie is about the making of a porn film, the nudity in the film is fairly tasteful and there is no sex really shown in the film. There are however sexual references, sex toys and discussion of porn movies is prevalent so this isn't a film for the easily disturbed.

Well worth a purchase and priced at a fair level.
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