Friday, June 20, 2008



: R
: 100 minutes
: Peter Tolan (“Rescue Me”)
: Peter Tolan (America’s Sweethearts; Just Like Heaven)
: Matthew Broderick, Brittany Snow, Steve Coogan, Maura Tierney, Ed Begley, Jr., Peter Facinelli, Bill Fagerbakke, Jack McGee, Katy Mixon, Kate Micucci, Mighty Rasta, Daniel Roebuck, LeeAnn Taylor, Luke Van Pelt

I’ve gotten so used to Matthew Broderick being a stick-in-the ass obsessive compulsive in all of his movies for the past seven or eight years now, that I was amazed to see him actually having fun in a movie for a change. “Finding Amanda”- directed by longtime Hollywood sap screenwriter and one of the creators of FX’s great “Rescue Me” Peter Tolan- is a small, character study comedy that relies a lot on Broderick. Although he is not the only character the movie chooses to focus all it’s attention on- after all the movie is titled “Finding Amanda”- if Broderick would have phoned it in like he has been for what seems like forever (or at least since “Election” and “You Can Count on Me”) the movie simply would not have worked. Brittany Snow, as Broderick’s runaway hooker niece Amanda, also gives a wonderful performance and her chemistry with him is right on target (screen chemistry, not romantic- don’t worry). It’s surprising that Tolan, who has penned such sappy romantic-comedies as the dreadful “America’s Sweethearts” and old episodes of “Home Improvement”- has made a movie about real people suffering through real emotions. Tolan’s time and effort on “Rescue Me” has obviously paid off and the mix up of the charm he can bring to the screen (“Just Like Heaven” was one of his better scripts) and the reality of the television show he writes/produces/directs makes for a pretty audacious debut. He doesn’t go down the sappy path and he doesn’t go down the “shock value” path (as much as I like “Rescue Me”- the show is all about shock value). Broderick stars as Taylor Peters- a former drug addict and alcoholic who has decided to leave himself one vice in gambling at the horse track. His long suffering wife (Maura Tierney- great as always) is getting fed up. His explanation that he needs at least one vice to keep himself going doesn’t make any sense to her and when Taylor learns that his niece has run off to Las Vegas to become a prostitute, he decides the only way to redeem himself and win his wife back is to go and rescue her. He believes that Las Vegas is the perfect place to do this (or so he tells his wife) so that can stare down the face of gambling temptation and rescue his niece from the hell she is most certainly in. Taylor, of course, immediately begins gambling and almost stumbles upon Amanda by accident- and here, unlike other movies, is a refreshing change of pace because Amanda is not in hell. She is actually pretty happy with her life- happier than her uncle. Taylor can’t understand why, but in all reality he is too focused on himself (gambling) to wonder if that’s even true or not. “Finding Amanda” is a very interesting and great little gem that somehow managed to slip through the cracks and not get a theatrical release. It will be becoming out on DVD in mid-September and I’m sure by then you’ll have forgotten all about this review- but if you happen to be perusing through the “New Release” section at your local Blockbuster or whatever and you see it. Give it a shot. You may or may not love it, but you’ll at least get a kick out of seeing a little bit of Ferris Bueller back in Matthew Broderick.

Download Soundtrack MP3:
Jefferson Thomas- Thursday’s Girl (Right Click and “Save As”)
Kate Micucci- Out the Door (Right Click and “Save As”) (Note: Song isn’t in the movie, but Kate is and I like her)

Listen to an interview with Matthew Broderick & Brittany Snow Here
Listen to an interview with Matthew Broderick and Peter Tolan Here

Pre-Order the DVD Here (Release Date: 09/16/08)

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