The Moguls

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner26/04/2006

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 97 mins

Disappointing comedy, despite a terrific ensemble cast and a great premise.

What’s it all about?
Set in the small town of Butterface Fields, The Moguls stars Jeff Bridges as middle-aged slacker Andy, who begins to feel that he’s done nothing with his life after he sees how happy his ex-wife Thelma (Jeanne Tripplehorn) and son (Alex Linz) are with Thelma’s rich new husband (Steven Weber).

Desperate to achieve something on his own, Andy decides to make a porn film with his weird bunch of friends (including Ted Danson, William Fichtner, Joe Pantoliano and Tim Blake Nelson). However, nothing goes according to plan.

The Good
Writer-director Michael Traeger has assembled a terrific ensemble cast and the comic characters are extremely well-drawn, particularly Danson’s over-compensating closet case and William Fichtner’s Walken-esque weirdo. Bridges is pretty good too, doing a variation on his Lebowski character.

The Bad
The main problem is that the film itself seems terrified of using any explicit sexual content – the 15 certificate is purely for language and a shot of Danson’s arse. This is largely because Traeger aims for a sweet, innocent tone instead of going for jet black comedy.

There are other problems too. Some of the jokes fall embarrassingly flat and others are borderline offensive (and not in a good way). Apart from anything else, the film completely wastes both Jeanne Tripplehorn (who’s only in three scenes) and the supremely talented Lauren Graham (Gilmore Girls).

Worth seeing?
In short, The Moguls is never less than watchable, thanks to its superb cast, but it could and should have been so much better. A sadly wasted opportunity.

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Content updated: 06/12/2019 11:44

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