Ah, pornography, the great engine that built the Internet. There’s a joke (that’s only half kidding) in the tech industry that new technology never takes off until someone in the sex industry figures out how to make money off of it. Middle Men purports to be the story of the guys that made charging for porn on the Internet possible way back in 1995 when computers talked in slow motion over phone lines.
It came out in 2009, but only on the festival circuit. Paramount bought the rights for it a few months ago and now plans on a release later this year. Below is the trailer which actually looks fairly entertaining. Luke Wilson might do a mean cell phone commercial, but he’s also got a real ability to play off that exhausted-every-man-in-over-his-head shtick.
Here’s the press release plot summary:
Jack Harris has a faithful and loving wife, two beautiful children, and a successful career fixing problem companies. When an associate calls him about an opportunity to help turn around a business that has fallen into trouble, he decides to take the job. Little does he know, it is a decision that will change his life in ways he never expected. Jack meets with Wayne Beering and Buck Dolby, two genius but troubled men who have invented a way to sell adult entertainment over the Internet. The plan was brilliant but the execution wasn’t — they were making money hand-over-fist and losing it just as fast. Seeing the potential, Jack agrees to partner with Buck and Wayne, devising a way to bill the entertainment through a third party, taking the guilt out of the ultimate guilty pleasure. Before he knows it, he finds himself caught between the Russian mob, a 23- year-old porn star, the FBI, and losing his family in the process of becoming rich. Witness a story so outrageous, you won’t believe it’s true. A story that proves business is a lot like sex…getting in is easy, pulling out is hard.
They really need to get rid of that tag line. It’s not nearly as clever as they think it is.