In 1999, comedic actor Jason Biggs made a name for himself having intercourse with pastry. American Pie paved the way for a new era of raunchy sex comedies and now, nearly two decades later, Biggs is still making the same type of movie. Typecast and hungry for cash, the (seemingly) one-note actor is back in yet another piece of mindless ribald fare. Amateur Night is Biggs’ latest and while it is a relatively uninspired romp, it will probably make you chuckle here and there while definitely evoking some deja vu. Ever since American Pie, movies like Amateur Night have made their way to late night cable and most likely to your Netflix queue.
Amateur Night stars Biggs as Guy, a young man in a bit of a funk. While he’s married to a beautiful wife with a baby on the way, his graduate degree in architecture has yet to serve him well. With his career is going nowhere, Guy responds to a delivery person job ad on Craigslist. Soon, Guy realizes that he’s not delivering pizzas or packages but women, sexy, scantily clad, and adventurous women. With terms like “pimp” and “prostitute” being casually dismissed and Guy with a strong need to make cash and feel worthwhile, he takes the job and in doing so, embarks on a wild ride, filled with dildos, rope, liquor, and lots and lots of cash.
While Amateur Night isn’t the first film of its kind, it does manage to tickle one’s funny one and has a smattering of clever scenes. The performances are also relatively decent. Biggs has a firm command of the film and his awkward nerdy persona is rather perfect here. Janet Montgomery (Black Swan, Salem) is probably the film’s brightest star, as she brings a sincerity and depth to Nikki, the leader of three “ladies of the night”. The other two ladies include crass boozer Fallon (Ashley Tisdale) and feisty partner in crime Jaxi, played Bria L. Murphy (daughter of Eddie Murphy). There are even awesome supporting roles from a painfully underused Cedric Yarbrough (Reno 911!, The Boss), who plays “the dispatcher” and Steven Weber, who plays a psychotic doctor with some rather disturbing fetishes. These two actors elevate the film and made it that more funnier.
Mindless and mildly disgusting, Amateur Night is a fun little film that will most likely slip through the cracks. Obviously, it’s not going to win any Oscars but that’s okay. It is a movie with one intention and that is to entertain. There isn’t a real message here and the performances aren’t that off legends. Janet Montgomery comes close and she has strong potential in future, more serious fare. Also, the jokes in Amateur Night are hit or miss and the writer/director team of Lisa Addario and Joe Syracuse are largely responsible for that. While there is a good film here, it’s bogged down by gross out jokes and a plot that has been done many times before. Amateur Night has its flaws but it is worth checking out at least once.
Amateur Night will have a limited release on August 5, 2016 and will be released on video on demand on August 12, 2016