A man down on his luck hatches a different kind of get-rich-quick scheme in this independent comedy. Andy Sargentee (Jeff Bridges) is a middle-aged divorcé who is down in the dumps after the departure of his wife, Thelma (Jeanne Tripplehorn), and son, Billy (Alex D. Linz). The fact that Thelma's new hubby is quite wealthy only makes things more troubling for Andy, and he keeps thinking that if he had more money he could be back in her good graces. One night, while knocking back drinks with his friends, Andy has a brainstorm -- pornography is big business these days, so why not round up the local talent and make an adult movie? Andy persuades his friend Barney (Tim Blake Nelson) to sign on as co-producer, and they start putting together a crew, including Emmett (Patrick Fugit), a kid with a video camera who becomes director of photography; Otis (William Fichtner), who volunteers to be the gofer who doesn't really do anything; and as director a guy known only by his nickname, Some Idiot (Joe Pantoliano). Casting proves to be a bit more problematic, especially after they discover that Moose (Ted Danson), who has been cast in the male lead, may be gay when he repeatedly fails to rise to the occasion. The Amateurs also stars Lauren Graham, Valerie Perrine, and Glenne Headly as some of the local women drafted into appearing in the movie; the picture was released in the United Kingdom under the title The Moguls.
by Mark Deming synopsis