The Amateurs (aka The Moguls)
Director: Michael Traeger
Jeff Bridges, Tim Blake Nelson, Joe Pantoliano, William Fletcher, Ted Danson
The Moguls follows a band of loveable losers in this tale of a bizarre quest to achieve riches and fame. Jeff Bridges plays Andy Sargentee, a down on his luck recent divorcee who’s ex-wife has married a wealthy businessman and his son now has a bedroom with its own basketball court. Looking for a way of spoiling his son, Andy hits on the idea of making a porn film and enlists the help of his motley crew of friends to realise his dream.
Rather than creating an X-rated explicit showing, Traeger keeps the view firmly clean family fun, although the frank discussion of sex makes it inappropriate for kids. Instead, the porn is merely a backdrop for what is essentially a story about friendship and acceptance. The support cast are fantastic, easing the film through various hilarious set-pieces as if it’s second nature, and bringing highly energetic performances to the board, all the while giving a sense of genuine warmth and affection towards their hapless friend Andy. There aren’t really any standout performances as all are top notch, but Danson is particularly funny as the faux-macho closet gay who masquerades as a ladies' man without realising the entire town know the truth.
It is a tough job to stop this film from dipping into the realm of sleazy jokes, but Traeger just about manages it, creating a consistently funny look at a weird corner of American life.
Screenings of this film:
|2006/2007 Autumn Term – (35mm)|