A frustrated, unemployed professor joins forces with a scammer and a friend of his in a blackmailing scheme.


Jean-Baptiste Andrea, William Rosenfeld (as Billy Asher)





Cast overview, first billed only:
David Schwimmer ... Charlie
Simon Pegg ... Gus
Alice Eve ... Josie
Natascha McElhone ... Penelope Wood
Jon Polito ... Agent Hymes
Mimi Rogers ... Mrs. Smalls
William Rosenfeld William Rosenfeld ... Deputy Garman (as Billy Asher)
Julian Glover ... 80 Year Old Blind Man
Olivia Peterson Olivia Peterson ... Emily
Sarah Edmondson ... Isabella
Amber Sealey ... Call Center Supervisor
Shauna Shim Shauna Shim ... Melanie #1
Laurence Bouvard Laurence Bouvard ... Melanie #2
Mindy Lee Raskin Mindy Lee Raskin ... Melanie #3
Kenneth Jay ... Barman


Charlie is an ex-professor turned reluctant call center employee who gets fired on the first day. Distraught at being unable to provide for his daughter Emily and wife Penelope, he accepts when Gus, an aspiring scam artist who presents Charlie with a seemingly snag-free plan to make some cash. The plan is to blackmail Reverend Smalls, a man of the cloth, who's frequently turned up in the company database of visitors to illegal porn sites. Gus plans to extort Reverend Smalls, with the intention of publicly exposing his secret shame should he refuse, thus potentially destroying the man's career. Normally cautious, Charlie is keen on participating in this scam, confident that the money he'll make from the scam will finally help turn things around for him and his family. Joined by one-time teenage pageant queen Josie McBroom, Gus's ex, the plan goes ahead, but it all goes wrong as Reverend Smalls dies thanks to this trio, with this only being the start of their troubles. Written by ????

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


They wrote the book on how not to be criminals. See more »


Comedy | Crime | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, language and a scene of sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Jean-Baptiste Andrea's intention was for the film to have an off-kilter feel to it. He achieved this by strapping cameras to the actors, and using split-screen techniques and animation. See more »


When Charlie goes to his new job for "Sentel Call Center" with his car, he drops his keys and food package. His keys sink into a puddle, but the packet does not. However, on the screen we see that Charlie picks up both of them from the puddle, totally wet. See more »


[first lines]
Charlie: [Charlie is narrating] My name is Charlie Wood.
Charlie: I think I made a big mistake...
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Crazy Credits

Basic animated characters are shown being drawn during the opening credits See more »


References Rain Man (1988) See more »


Blinking Lights (For Me)
Written by Mark Oliver Everett
Performed by Eels (as Eels)
See more »

User Reviews

It's a fun and quirky British comedy.
12 July 2011 | by Nuz_ReviewsSee all my reviews

David Schwimmer (Ross from the TV show Friends) and Simon Pegg (dude from the Brit-comedies Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz) star in a comedic action-thriller-crime British movie. And, yes, you can make out all the words they say; nothing like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (which is an amazing movie by the way). Mr. Pegg definitely put on an American accent for this role, which made sense given the movie setting was in a small town of Oregon. It was seriously every movie of that action-thrill genre kind mixed into one. It had all your typical police mishaps and silly story turns. During the movie they even made a parody bit out of The Matrix; I enjoyed it.

The story was pretty basic. Two guys (David and Simon's characters) are struggling financially and meet at a call-center. Upon not wanting to work there anymore they decide to blackmail somebody. Nothing seems to go right after said "Plan A."

Overall this movie was pretty well done. The acting was pretty decent too. Given that this was the French director's first real flick, guy's name is Jean-Baptiste Andrea, I thought he did a great job. The cut scenes were really cool, reminded me of Shaun of the Dead and Requiem for a Dream. Perhaps Simon helped.

Ironically enough, the one Simon Pegg movie that I have not seen is Run, Fatboy, Run, directed by David Schwimmer. That's pretty cool that a year after Big Nothing that Schwimmer and Pegg decided to act together in a movie of their own.

The movie also co-starred Alice Eve. She was in She's Out of My League, which is one of those movies that I refuse to watch. Eve did a great job in this too. And, she's definitely not rough on the eyes. If you're looking for a fun and quirky comedy, then I'd check out Big Nothing.

Fun fact from the film's Wikipedia page: "Big Nothing was filmed over thirty-two days in January 2006, and had its world premiere at the Cardiff Film Festival on November 18, 2006. Released in the United Kingdom and Ireland on December 1, 2006, the film had its European market release on March 15, 2007, but was never released in cinemas in America. Rather, it was released on DVD on June 12, 2007."

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Official Sites:

Official site [UK]





Release Date:

1 December 2006 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Big Nothing See more »

Filming Locations:

Canada See more »


Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital EX



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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