August 2000:

Another featured film we think you might want to see!

This month, it's Jason Biggs and Mena Suvari in








Loser (2000)
Directed by Amy Heckerling

cast :

Jason Biggs .... Paul Tannek
Mena Suvari .... Dora Diamond
Greg Kinnear .... Edward Alcott
Thomas Sadoski .... Chris
Art Alexakis
Dan Aykroyd
Andy Dick
Greg Eklund
Craig Montoya
Zak Orth .... Adam
Jimmi Simpson .... Noah

Produced by Twink Caplan and Amy Heckerling
Executive Producers: John M. Eckert
Written by Amy Heckerling
Rated PG-13
Loser (2000) reviewed by YMS staffer Ben

Dare to be different

Ok, I liked this movie. Yeah, maybe it's pretty by the book as far as films like this are concerned. But the actors make the film work and it's a pretty enjoyable way to spend some time in a theater. Maybe it's because I like Jason Biggs, the guy from American Pie. The guy is a hoot. And Mena Suvari, one of Jason's co-stars in American Pie who was also awesome in American Beauty. The supporting cast does a good job too, especially the three party boy dorm guys.

Sure, it's a formula, and the script could probably use some work (I guess when the writer also produces and directs, they may be a bit tied to their "vision"), but overall it's an enjoyable little flick. No problem recognizing the cliches: the party guys, the dumb father, the hot young babe, the horny professor, and, of course, the loser. Everybody knows their role and does a good job with what they have to work with.

I liked that it took the loser, a hick from the sticks and puts him down in New York to go to college. He doesn't fit in, he dresses funny, he has a bad haircut, he's too clumsy and way too friendly. He's... a loser. The girl of his dreams (Suvari), who lives with her mom and pays for her tuition in a very street smart sort of way, is also sleeping with the horny professor (played by Greg Kinnear), who treats her really badly. And the loser's not doing so well in school, either, and is about to lose his scholarship. The poor guy comes close to packing it all up and running back home to the Midwest. But of course, that's not what the movie's about. It's basically set up like every other film like this: nice guy meets girl; nice guy chases girl; doesn't look good for nice guy and girl until a few minutes before closing credits. Then everybody's happy ever after.

So after I accepted that this was a film with a familiar plot and familiar characters and it wasn't going to be a challenge, it was easier to sit back and just enjoy it. I think it's probably a better video rental than a $8 date movie, so maybe wait until it hits the video stores. My one pet peeve is the same with this movie as it is with a lot of other recent movies. Too many ads. Oh excuse me, product placements. Sure they may help pay for making the movie, but I just paid my $8 to the kid at the ticket window, why do I have to be sold everything from Everclear to Sam Adams beer (yuk)? I think it really insults the audience to turn a film into one big commercial. And I hope Hollywood smartens up and sends ads and product placement back to TV where they belong.

Ok, I said it. Now go see Loser. I give it 3 stars. Not bad.



Read other recent reviews:

The In Crowd
Here on Earth

Final Destination
The Beach
Girl, Interrupted
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