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
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
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1999, some of the footage is a bit out-of-date but still captures the
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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