Totally Whorible

Finding Amanda
Running Time 100 minutes
Written and
directed by Peter Tolan
Starring Matthew Broderick, Brittany Snow, Maura Tierney, Peter Facinelli

Finding Amanda is an inconsequential little low-budget throwaway with another stagnant, indifferent performance by the underwhelming but overexposed Matthew Broderick as a mediocre Hollywood TV writer named Taylor Peters. Taylor is so unreliable, indifferent and irresponsible that each episode of his sitcom is like a knee replacement. A severe case of writer’s block has reached the level of mental illness. He also suffers from a gambling addiction so serious that it has derailed his career and almost wrecked his marriage to the long-suffering wife (Maura Tierney) he has lied to for years. Now he has licked the drug abuse and drinking, but he can’t give up the racetrack. He also has a new problem: a 20-year-old niece named Amanda who works as a hooker in Las Vegas. His distraught wife dispatches him to Vegas to bring Amanda home to a rehab center in Malibu, and in one night he’s off the wagon, stoned and $20,000 in debt. On the second day, he’s down $60,000, broke, drinking like a catfish, popping ecstasy like M&Ms and fired by the network, his hand broken by pimps. Amanda (Brittany Snow) is a dish who likes her job and her sleazy, abusive sponger of a boyfriend, and has no interest in rehab, but she does have one thing in common with her 43-year-old uncle—they both devote their lives to making bad, self-destructive choices. Which one will turn it around before it’s too late? Hanging around to find out is not worth the agony. It’s a nasty little story that is not enlivened by the flaccid writing and direction of Peter Tolan, or a Matthew Broderick performance that can only be described as tranquil. Where do they find the money to finance this stuff?

rreed@observer.com Totally Whorible