The Amateurs

with Jeff Bridges

Viewed November 8, 2008

This delightful independent film about making a porn movie triggered a discussion of the things we've done to feel better about ourselves and gain self-respect (Question 4). Several of us commented that we have been more able to to feel hope rather than despair during the last few days since the presidential election, and that hope seems to be allowing us to take action on things that simply felt like too much to tackle until this week. We mentioned the idea of "no guts, no glory" that was one of the central morals of the movie, and realized that in order to make progress we need to step out of our normal comfort zone.

We also talked about times when we've felt out of control of our lives (Question 5). Certainly that included the last seven years because of the actions of the current administration, but it also included situations in our personal lives. Often when we felt out of control we got into blaming others for our predicament. However, we postulated that sometimes when we blamed others, we also eventually created a situation where we were in fact out of control of our lives.
(This video was reviewed by Bob McGarey)

Feel free to come and share your own personal insights sometime; the Saturday Night Video and Discussions here in Austin, Texas are a lot of fun and fascinating. (They're free, too.) Here are the questions the group came up with, based on the personal growth themes in the movie:


  1. Where in my life do I make BIG assumptions?
  2. What have been my desperate quests for approval from others?
  3. What is my definition of porn?
  4. What things have I done that help me gain self-respect?
  5. When have I been out of control of my life?
  6. How much do I conform to the role of a man/woman, and how do I feel about that?