5.9/10
351
25 user 23 critic

Chump Change (2000)

A failed Hollywood actor returns to his home town in Wisconsin and reminisces about his life in L.A. to a potential new girlfriend about his faults, auditions, misadventures, and confrontations with the evils of Hollywood.

Director:

(as Stephen D. Burrows)

Writer:

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6 wins. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Stephen Burrows ...
Milwaukee Steve
...
Simon 'Sez' Simone
...
Sam (as Traci Elizabeth Lords)
...
Steve's Agent
...
Steve's Manager
...
The Man
...
Maloney
...
Mr. C.
Willie Etra ...
88 Fingers
Stefane Zamorano ...
Coco Delapino
Theo Greenly ...
Chuckie Self
...
Bistro Waitress
...
Dack (as Michael James McDonald)
...
The Colonel
Miriam Flynn ...
Bussler Waitress
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Storyline

Rags to riches to rags comedy loosely based on the director Steve Burrows' actual experiences while writing screenplays in Los Angeles. Burrows (aka "Milwaukee Steve") finally makes it big as "The Crotch Fresh" commercial guy, but then can't catch another break -- not even when he auditions for a new Crotch Fresh commercial! He decides the only way to make a comeback as an actor is to fake his own death, then make a glorious return. Before that idea pans out, Milwaukee goes on "Wheel of Fortune", and become notorious when he's sued by the Merv Griffin Corp. "Milwaukee Steve" becomes a hot ticket, with numerous folks riding his coattails. However, after a studio hires him to write a script, nothing works out as planned. Desperate, broke, and depressed, Steve returns to Milwaukee, in mid-winter, to gain comfort from family and friends -- only to find his mother has rented out his room while on her annual trip to the Netherlands. "Milwaukee" then recounts his Los Angeles' saga to his ... Written by RJ-15

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Fame, Fortune, Cheese, and Beer. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexual humor
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Details

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Release Date:

7 January 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Deleted Scenes  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Miramax Films acquired Chump Change (2000) after winning the HBO Comedy Film Festival. See more »

Quotes

Simon 'Sez' Simone: These are the rules of comedy. Ok? For instance: right place wrong time - funny. Wrong place right time - funny. Wrong place wrong time - not funny! Stupid - funny, retarded - not funny! Fat - funny, bald - funny, hair - not funny. But, toupees and wigs - very funny, don't ask me why! Falling down - it's funny. Old is funny. Grandpa - funny, grandma - funny. Grandpa gettin' whacked in the crotch - funny. Grandma gettin' whacked in the crotch - not funny, but, grandma gettin' whacked in the head...
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Connections

References The Godfather (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Who Put Grandma In The Cement Mixer
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User Reviews

 
Chump Change
9 August 2010 | by See all my reviews

In a comedy based on the writer-director Stephen Burrows' own experiences in the film industry, Burrows himself plays Steve, an aspiring actor and screenwriter who moves back to his childhood home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin after a less than successful career in Hollywood. There he finds a spunky young woman Sam (Traci Lords) renting the house and starts recounting his experiences to her, shown to us in lengthy flashbacks.

The Hollywood scenes are fairly funny with many references to real-life actors and movies. The numerous agents and managers Steve has to meet are particularly crazy, especially Simon 'Sez' Simone (Tim Matheson) with his bizarre and self-contradicting rants about what a movie should and should not be. The industry is presented as a completely impossible working environment, with orders and notes pouring in from every direction to confuse the poor writer who is just trying to do what he's told. There are also funny scenes poking fun at amateur acting classes, poor sketch comedy shows and the unconventional and unpredictable lifestyles of bigwig producers and their entourages.

Even though the hectic pacing and jumping between the Hollywood and Milwaukee scenes may look a bit annoying to some, at the end of the day there's a lot to like in Chump Change. The lead character Steve is very likable and sympathetic and the wintery Wisconsin infrastructure looks cozy and suits the theme of the story very well. Traci Lords may not be the cutest love interest in the history of romantic cinema, but she handles the role well enough. The most fun comes in the form of the many supporting characters though, making the movie well worth seeing to anyone interested in the behind-the-scenes life of film industry.


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