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Amateur Night

Updated on August 17, 2016

Anyone who grew up in the 90's will know of Jason Bigg and his work in the American Pie series. He starred in the story of lust and love that gave those of us still young at that point a glimpse of an adult world of raunchy humour and Shannon Elizabeth through the eyes of a relatably awkward teenager.

It's strange to think here we are 17 years (and seven American Pie films later) and here we are watching Jason Biggs as the relatably awkward man in another raunchy movie. The man has a certain nervous energy that's a natural fit for these roles after all, giving the audience a character they can relate to when they get hit in the face by female ejaculate.

Did I mention a man getting hit in the face by female ejaculate? Good, we've about set the bar here. Amateur Night tells the story of Guy (Jason Biggs), an unemployed architect with a pregnant wife at home who answers a craigslist ad unknowingly setting himself up to drive escorts to clients houses. The story itself ultimately feels rushed. It tries to hit us on the head with the characters growth over the film, as Guy works out his issues as nervous father by realising his role in taking care of the ladies he drives, but it ultimately feels unearned as we never really see a solid second act in his growth. He's nervous and bumbles his way through his first job, then he's nervous and bumbles his way through the second job and after a big moment of redemption towards his role of "protector" where he in-explicitly commits multiple crimes to protect the escort he's been driving around for the day (Nikki, played by Janet Montgomery) from a prostitution charge there's a sudden pay off as he realises he's more ready than he thought to be a father. The film feels like it would have been better suited to showing a much longer process, months instead of a single day, giving him time to become friends with the women he drives over time and growing comfortable in his role. Instead it feels like we're shown a story about a man who has one crazy night that changes everything, with the film leaving it ultimately vague as to if he'll continue in this new found life or go back to his struggling career.

Ultimately the characters of the film mostly feel mostly unexplored, Nikki (Janet Montgomery) gets the most screen time alongside Biggs, playing a tough escort who spends most of the film perpetually (and rightfully) frustrated with Guy. Janet Montgomery plays the role well, exuding confidence in her position, however her character is ultimately let down by the film by the end through constantly flip flopping. In one scene she's portrayed as smart and savvy, in another scene she's happily taking serious risks with the law and her career. It's disappointing that the second most important character in the film simply acts by the plot, rather than how her actual character would act. It leaves her eventual payoff in her relationship with Guy feeling rushed, because we haven't had time to believe she would act like this.

Beyond the script and underutilized characters the film is ultimately okay. The writing relies on gross out raunchy humour and while a lot of it misses the mark it never really becomes tiring. I can't say I was bored watching this film, though I was perhaps pushed on as the premise does at least have potential for an interesting story, and there was the occasional genuine laugh to be had but for the most part there's nothing special going on in this ultimately forgettable film.



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