Chump Change

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Chump Change Awards Awards

Audience Award - Best Feature
HBO/U.S. Comedy Arts Festival 2001

Awards Winner
Best Actress
Traci Elizabeth Lords
HBO/U.S. Comedy Arts Festival 2001

Best Comedy
SlamDunk! at Sundance

Best Screenplay
SlamDunk! at Sundance

Audience Award
Phoenix Film Festival

Best Screenplay
Phoenix Film Festival


"Chump Change" is not only a one-man party created by writer/director/lead actor Stephen Burrows, [this] debut feature is also a fast-paced satire of the movie business and boasts a fun cast, lots of snappy lines and a central romance with participants one unbegrudgingly roots for. "Chump" is a winner for Burrows...a dynamo of a performer, a frequently witty writer and no slouch as a director.
- The Hollywood Reporter

Both a subtle study of disparate lifestyles and a hilarious expose of the unexplainable peculiarities of the Hollywood Machine, "Chump Change" is warm, brutally honest and sidesplittingly funny.
- AFI FEST 2000

*Critic's Choice* Stephen Burrows' romantic comedy, based on [his] own bumpy life as an actor and screenwriter, [includes] clever and genuinely funny riffs on a jock itch ad, a legal run-in with Merv Griffin, and a transvestite version of Leave It To Beaver. The movie gets a big boost from a crack cast that includes Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, Traci Lords and the inimitable Fred Willard, and from Burrows' winsome readiness to shine a light on his own humiliations.
- LA Weekly

... The not-to-be-missed "Chump", an offbeat but absolutely hilarious comedy written, directed and starring the brilliant Stephen Burrows. The film is as good a comedy as we have seen this year and once released should propel Mr. Burrows into that rare circle of writers/actors/directors that is currently limited to Woody Allen and Albert Brooks. "Chump" is so funny that we wonder whether audiences will be able to hear all of the laugh-out-loud lines... The film has so many comic highlights and memorable characters, it is as if Mr. Burrows has successfully created a 90-minute "Best of Saturday Night Live" with the added benefit being that there are two separate storylines that are both completely engaging. Trust us, this one is terrific!
- The Sacramento Gazette

The four-day fest will present dozens of insightful documentaries, serious features and longtime classics. Then there's "Chump Change." This sneak is the festival's secret weapon: A rousing, witty Wisconsin-fueled comedy with more laughs than there are calories in a keg of beer. "Chump" shifts between Los Angeles' materialism and chilly Milwaukee's provincialism with a cast of familiar faces including Tim Matheson, Jerry Stiller, Fred Willard and Abe Vigoda... Highly recommended.
- Wisconsin State Journal

Do any really funny independent films still get made? Check out "Chump Change", a wacky, laugh-out-loud semi-autobiographical comedy. This giddy gem chronicles the roller coaster career of "Milwaukee Steve" from his starring role in a jock-rash commercial to his life as an abused screenwriter. There's a John Waters casting coach sensibility at play that gives the gags a cheeky goose [as does] the exhilarating, sincerely goofy soundtrack...
- Sacramento News & Review

A real find. Few genres are more irresistible than those about show business in general and filmmaking in particular. For this quick, 90 minute lark, writer-director Burrows finds room for two very good female performances - from a new comic actress named McNally Sagal and from former porn star Traci Lords...
- The Sacramento Bee

Billed as the quasi-life story of comedian "Milwaukee Steve" Burrows, who also wrote and directed, this amusing send-up of Hollywood recalls Burrows' attempts to break into show business. Notable for its excellent, well-known cast, including Tim Matheson, Traci Lords, Anne Meara, Jerry Stiller, Fred Willard and Abe Vigoda. Matheson does a particular funny turn as a nutball producer, and some of Burrows skits stand out, especially the suicide hotline operator with Tourette's syndrome.
- The Arizona Republic

This charming and very funny first feature film is based on writer-director Stephen Burrows absurd real-life experiences in show business, and traces the rise, fall, rise, fall and rise of "Milwaukee" an idealistic screenwriter whose descent into "rewrite hell" sends him fleeing back to his native Wisconsin. With strong performances and comic pacing reminiscent of the Zucker Brothers, "Chump" mixes Hollywood madness with Wisconsin cheese, beer, polka and bowling and comes up a winner.
- Wisconsin Film Festival

Very, very funny... a great independent comedy that draws lots of laughs from both the L.A. entertainment scene and its Midwestern homespun counterpart... this was a hilarious movie, well-written and well-acted... a great jab at the machine known as Hollywood... look for Traci Lords in a great performance... a film festival must!!!... the crowd loved it!... I expect it to get wide release.

Genial recounting of [Burrows'] haphazard career yields a fair share of yucks, and the hero's unexpected romance while visiting his native Wisconsin proves surprisingly engaging. Breezy tone and enthusiastic cast [include] a delightfully down-to-earth Traci Elizabeth Lords, an amusing Clancy Brown, a funny Tim Matheson and [as a] 13 year-old studio exec, Theo Greenly in an inspired bit.
- Variety

So - is Hollywood really full of morons? You bet. Just ask Stephen Burrows - writer/director of the critically acclaimed feature film "Chump Change" - a mostly autobiographical Hollywood love story, though not the kind of Hollywood love story you usually hear about. As A-list movie producer 'Simon Sez', Tim Matheson is absolutely hilarious!
- National Public Radio (featured with Ang Lee and his film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon)

I realized my life was The Poseidon Adventure turned upside down." Thus a rueful neophyte writer/performer in Hollywood limbo: The deadpan Milwaukee Steve, whose edgy talent - measured best by a string of truly witty one-liners - is used and abused in La-La Land. Breathing new comic life into the innocent abroad, this hilariously fresh spin from Burrows gains immensely from the 99% -sure factor that it's grounded in his own past humiliations.
- The Dublin Film Festival


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