The First $20 Million

  • 2002
  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • Comedy, Drama

Underdog dramedies in the FULL MONTY vein pander to fantasies of the little guy beating the odds, and this exercise in computer-geek wish fulfillment is a fairly entertaining variation on that theme. Andy Cooper (Adam Garcia) abandons his cushy job in advertising for an inventor's position at Silicon Valley's La Honda Center. The brainchild of computer guru...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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Underdog dramedies in the FULL MONTY vein pander to fantasies of the little guy beating the odds, and this exercise in computer-geek wish fulfillment is a fairly entertaining variation on that theme. Andy Cooper (Adam Garcia) abandons his cushy job in advertising for an inventor's position at Silicon Valley's La Honda Center. The brainchild of computer guru Hank (Gregory Jbara), this designers' think tank encourages employees to create innovations that benefit mankind. Unfortunately, Hank's chief cngineer, Francis Benoit (Enrico Colantoni), believes that former adman Andy once did a tacky job of marketing his ideas. To undermine the new recruit, Francis assigns Andy to a losing proposition, the $99 Computer for Third World Children. Andy accepts the challenge but has difficulty attracting co-workers; he's forced to round up La Honda's rejects: Darrell Claxton (Jake Busey), Salman Fard (Anjul Nigam) and Curtis "Tiny" Reece (Ethan Suplee). Against all odds, Andy's quartet succeeds in devising cyberspace software and virtual reality gloves that cut costs dramatically, but since Hank's chief investor, Lloyd (Dan Butler), makes billions selling computer hardware, he tells Hank to squash the project. Before Hank bounces Andy's misfits off the premises, Francis forces them to sign a waiver relinquishing rights to their discoveries at La Honda. Still confident that they can turn the situation around, Andy's nerds pitch their latest proposition to dragon-lady executive Claudia Gross (Heather Paige Kent), not realizing that she's Francis's silent partner. Dismissing Andy and his team as losers, Francis takes credit for their original dream design. Is there any way Andy's scientific crew can steal Francis's thunder before he unveils his — their — prototype? Despite its predictability, this computer-age fable deftly blends light comedy and inspirational homilies.

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  • Released: 2002
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: Underdog dramedies in the FULL MONTY vein pander to fantasies of the little guy beating the odds, and this exercise in computer-geek wish fulfillment is a fairly entertaining variation on that theme. Andy Cooper (Adam Garcia) abandons his cushy job in adve… (more)

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