Chump Change

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Chump Change: Stephen Burrows, Traci Lords
Worth seeing for anyone, but especially for anyone from Wisconsin

Milwaukee School of Engineering
November 10, 2003
By Amber Picka, Layout Editor

Type: Movie
Rating: 9 out of 10

Chump Change is one of the many films shown at the first annual Milwaukee International Film Festival. At the showing of this film on Nov. 7, the Oriental Theater was sold out for the first time since it reopened in 1987.

Chump Change is a truly original and hilarious comedy. It is semi-autobiographical film which is "about 98%" true, according to writer, director and star Stephen Burrows. It is the story of Burrows' (or, as he is known in the film, Milwaukee Steve's) adventures when he leaves Wisconsin and moves to Hollywood to become rich and famous.

After Milwaukee's troubles and failures in Hollywood, he decides to come back home to Milwaukee. While at home, he meets his future wife Sam (Traci Lords) and explains the whole adventure with her.

His experiences in Hollywood are an up-and-down rollercoaster ride with laughs at every turn. After all of his troubles, all he has to show for it is a jock itch commercial for a product named "Crotch Fresh," which everyone seems to recognize him from.

This film is so funny the audience did not stop laughing throughout the entire showing. The film is well written and well acted. It starred many fine actors, such as Tim Matheson (of National Lampoon's fame), Jerry Stiller and Abe Vigoda.

Traci Lords is especially surprising in her role as Sam, so surprising that she is barely recognizable. She does a remarkable job playing an ordinary Wisconsinite - the girl next door.

Something also needs to be said about the cinematography. The movie was filmed on location in Milwaukee and Hollywood. The footage of Milwaukee is wonderful. Since it was filmed back in 1999, some of the footage is a bit out-of-date but still captures the Wisconsin spirit.

Overall, this film is one of the best shown at the film festival and definitely worth seeing, especially for anyone from Wisconsin. Recently, the film was bought by Miramax, so it should be coming to theaters soon.

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