Filmed in the summer of 2004, The Amateurs has been in the can for over three years. The movie's title has gone through several changes, and imdb still lists it as The Moguls. The film has had a whopping six release dates going back to 2005, but it finally sputters into theaters today -- in Los Angeles and Dallas, anyway. Movies often have distribution trouble (you can read more about the problems this one faced in the Los Angeles Times), but the struggle of The Amateurs surprised me because it had all the makings of a sleeper hit. It's got a killer premise (think The Full Monty with porno) and an amazing cast. The film's struggle surprised me...until I saw it.
A queasy mixture of Boogie Nights sleaze and Patch Adams sentimentality, The Amateurs takes place in the small town of Butterface Fields (ho-HO!). That's where you'll find Andy Sargentee (Jeff Bridges, in shaggy dog Lebowski mode), a divorced dad who is down on his luck. His son (Alex D. Linz) is now living with a wealthy stepfather (the typically solid Steven Weber), and this makes Sargentee insecure. He's got to make some money, and fast. So, naturally, he decides to enlist the help of his friends and make an amateur porno flick.