Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you, one of the most predictable movies of the year.
General overview, Middle-aged uncle with a drug/alcohol/gambling problem goes to Vegas to try to convince his hooker niece to go to rehab. You should now know how the movie ends.
That’s not to say there isn’t some fun stuff on the trip. There are some funny moments from time to time, most of the comedic stuff surprisingly comes from Broderick’s deadpan replies to things. I know, I know, I just implied that Matthew Broderick is funny in this movie. It surprised me too, but he doesn’t do terrible.
Even with Broderick being the big name in the movie, Brittany Snow is the movie. Checking her IMDB page also brings a tear to the eye when is talks about her best friends in the acting industry, Sophia Bush, and Arielle Kebel. If that’s not a trio of hot, I don’t know what is. But back to her actual role here. She plays a happy-go-lucky 20-year-old hooker in Vegas who thinks she has the perfect life. Just like all 20-year-olds. Ah to be that young and naive. And her happy nature in the movie makes her seem very confident in everything she’s doing.
Through the movie, obviously, we get portions of stories and glimpses behind the exterior shell into the depths of filth she actually sees herself as. The BJ in the bathroom story is chilling, sad, and funny all at the same time. But Brittany does a commendable job giving the character depth of emotion. And she’s great in the movie.
While Broderick has some good deadpan deliveries, Steve Coogan is the comedy gold of the movie. Coogan plays a pit boss at the hotel where Broderick stays. He doesn’t have a lot of lines, and is only in a few scenes but those scenes are great.
This movie is also eye opening in another respect. Bill Fagerbakke has a minimal role in the movie. Those people 23 and older probably remember Fagerbakke as Dauber from the TV series Coach. Those younger, and the older set that have kids, would better know Fagerbakke as Patrick, Spongebob’s friend. Tell me I’m not the only one who was saddened when they found out Dauber became Patrick…
Finding Amanda is presented in 1.78:1 Widescreen format and Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound.
Audio is fine, video is ok. Not a lot of camera movement or interesting shot making, but more of a point and shoot type film making.
The extras are kinda…useless. The commentary is pointless drivel. It’s just Broderick and writer/director Peter Tolan complaining about how bad everything was for the movie. Then there’s a Q&A session at the Tribeca Film Festival that gets edited down to about 15 minutes. They all try really hard to be funny, but it’s not that funny.
Not outright terrible. But it’s not great. Predictable story, Matthew Broderick (take that as good or bad), and a feeling of been there, done that. It feels like Pretty Woman at points, but not as good. Probably worthy of a Netflix, but that’s as much as I’d recommend.
Magnolia Films Presents Finding Amanda. Directed by Peter Tolan. Starring Matthew Broderick, Brittany Snow, Steve Coogan, and Maura Tierney. Written by Peter Tolan. Running time: 96 minutes. Rated R. Released on DVD: September 16th, 2008. Available at Amazon.