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Finding Amanda

Grotesquely exploitative and clichéd
By PETER KEOUGH  |  June 25, 2008
1.5 1.5 Stars
findingamandainside.jpg

Matthew Broderick is starting to look like William Shatner these days — too bad he can’t find a role as substantial as Shatner’s “The Negotiator” in the Priceline commercials. Instead, he sleepwalks through Peter Tolan’s debut film as a hack TV writer with a gambling addiction who tries to redeem himself by heading to Vegas to rescue his niece (Brittany Snow) from prostitution. Lots of laughs there, especially when you throw in such uproarious clichés as the abusive boyfriend who’s in school studying refrigeration and the bimbo who doesn’t know that Thai refers to a country as well as a kind of take-out. But there are tears, too, as Amanda recalls having been raped by a family member and weeps in a toilet stall after a john has spit in her face. The two modes clash, and both are grotesquely exploitative. Kudos, though, to Steve Coogan as the smarmy casino rep who fulfills the hopes of many viewers by punching Broderick in the nose. 100 minutes | Kendall Square

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