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The Amateurs (aka The Moguls)

Sex sells 

Year: 2005 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from 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.

Richard Flitchard

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Screenings of this film:

2006/2007 Autumn Term (35mm)