Finding Amanda 

On the DVD case for this film, a reviewer likened Matthew Broderick's character therein to Ferris Bueller on a bender. But if Ferris Bueller ever became quite as big a loser as this guy, a lot of children of the '80s would be thoroughly saddened.

Taylor Peters (Broderick) is a recovering alcoholic television writer whose current fascination is the horse track. His wife (Maura Tierney, TV's ER) catches him lying about gambling, so she splits, leaving Taylor just one final chance to redeem himself: tripping to Las Vegas to retrieve an errant niece who's taken up prostitution. Unfortunately, Sin City is about the worst place in the world for an addict like him.

This film, helmed by writer/director Peter Tolan (TV's Rescue Me) clearly aims to be a dark comedy and, for the most part, it succeeds. There are bizarre small roles filled by colorful actors Bill Fagerbakke (TV's Coach), Peter Facinelli (Can't Hardly Wait) and Steve Coogan (Night at the Museum), and each gets really funny offbeat lines. The story feels a touch disjointed, and is all the more difficult to watch because Broderick's Taylor is such a mess.

The movie contains graphic discussion of prostitution, vulgar language and drugs and alcohol galore, so this film isn't for the faint of heart. But if you're a fan of indie dark comedies, this may be a winner for you. Be prepared, however, for something way more off the beaten path than the normal stuff Hollywood spits out.

This video courtesy of Hollywood Video, 590 Broadway Ave., 208-342-6117.

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