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Eddie Krumble (Ed Helms) moves to Los Angeles looking for a fresh start and becomes a professional paid audience member for infomercials and other live studio tapings, with his best friend Chris (Tracy Morgan) at his side. After a lifetime of drawing the short straw, Eddie seems to have finally caught a break as he forms a bond with winsome gas station attendant, Judy (Amanda Seyfried). But when Eddie's many disguises and telegenic enthusiasm catch the eye of a notorious late night talk show host and his producer (Adam Levine), they turn Eddie's life into the newest national obsession, threatening his budding romance.
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There is a bit of a love story here, but the bigger message is how quickly studios, talk show hosts and producers invade peoples' lives, invade their privacy and twist stories around for the sake of entertainment. When Eddie's job as a paid audience member, or clapper, and with it his interest in Judy, get exposed by talkshow host Jayme Stillerman, things go downhill fast. Now Eddie has become famous and everyone wants to know everything about him. He's not a hero; he's just someone the audience can laugh at. Even his mother back East is appalled at how Eddie's life has been exposed on TV for the sake of a laugh.
Acting and script aren't bad, but the pace is slow. It's not as funny as it could be with Ed Helms as the protagonist. He plays the angst-driven neurotic quite well. Tracy Morgan isn't funny in his role and his character is more fluff than substance; his character lacks all development. I kept waiting for his break-out line. The seriousness of how fast and furious Hollywood works dominates the theme, and there are times I wondered if I should laugh or get angry. This movie, in the end, is how we all mock others without understanding them. I'd rate this a 3+ overall, but will round the stars up to four because I like the message.