Let’s see if I can come up with some blurb-friendly critiques of "Finding Amanda." Finds its target and misses badlly! This might well be the most uneven movie of the year! You won’t have a more uncomfortable time at the movies all summer long. This is one strange and mostly bad movie. Matthew Broderick is one of cinema’s peppiest addicts. He plays Taylor, a television writer who lies to his wife, is addicted to the horses and is having a hard time staying off the booze.
The always-welcome Steve Coogan scores a few laughs as a casino exec. But like every character in this film, he never feels like a real person. Brittany Snow pours a ton of energy into her performance as Amanda, Taylor’s bubbly niece. She’s a drug-taking hooker. Broderick and Snow play their roles as if they’re in a sitcom. But this would be one dark sitcom.
"Finding Amanda" is written and directed by Peter Tolan, one of the prime creative forces on "Rescue Me," one of the best shows on TV. You can see the germs of an interesting movie here, but the film never seems to find its way. Snow has one terrific scene where we see the tragedy of her character. Broderick’s sunny spin on the deeply flawed Taylor is interesting but eventually defies belief. In the third act, "Finding Amanda" loses steam altogether.