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Loser (DVD)

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      08.06.2012 12:28
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      This film suffers somewhat due to an uneven tone between comedy and drama

      **FILM ONLY REVIEW** It's unfair comparing this film to American Pie (which came out the year prior) but considering the male and female leads were both in that film, it is unfortunately going to draw comparisons with that iconic teen coming-of-age story, which was a huge hit and a generational landmark, leading to a floodgate of raunchy teen sex comedies that still continues to this day. However, Loser is not one of these, although at first glance it would be easy to mistake it for one. Loser follows out-of-towner Paul (Jason Biggs) as he gets enrolled at a college in New York. Being from a small town, he worries that he won't fit in with the native New Yorkers and their legendary sarcastic wit, and his prediction turns out to be true, with him becoming the titular Loser. He struggles to fit in with the atypical students, who prefer booze and babes to Paul's books, and eventually finds a kindred spirit in cute, indie chick, Dora (Mena Suvari). Unfortunately, Dora has some issues of her own, such as lack of funds to support her through college and a dysfunctional relationship with her boyfriend, who also happens to be their college professor. There isn't much in the way of laughs or set-pieces with the story focusing on more dramatic storylines such as: feeling an outcast amongst people at college, financial struggles and inappropriate relationships between teachers and students. The film doesn't really poke fun at these situations and there is the occasional humour to be found in some of their interactions but largely, it doesn't really work well as a comedy. There are some rather strange moments too, such as an incident where Dora and Paul have to cut an half-born kitten from its membrane to save its life, after its mother gives birth to it on the floor, and a rather strange drug-rape storyline where Paul switches a stash of Rohypnol tablets with placebos. The way that this serious topic is relatively dismissed as a light-hearted jape, despite the connotations of the behaviour is actually quite irresponsible and dated. No actual rape is shown on screen, but it's implied that Paul's friends have been drugging girls and having sex. It seemed like an unnecessary plot point, and actually seemed to work against the film in the sense that no-one takes it seriously. The film's central relationship between Paul and Dora is actually quite sweet and is the strongest thing in the film, with both Jason Biggs and Mena Suvari showing some chemistry between each other. Other than that, the other performances in the film seemed to be fairly dull and written in, with the normally great Greg Kinnear and Dan Ackroyd putting in half-assed approaches. I guess some films aren't worth the effort! Overall, this is an unusual film which seems to struggle with the tone it is going for. With its casting, it seems to be courting the American Pie fans, although the content doesn't hold much interest for fans of crude sex comedies. In terms of being a romantic comedy, there are a few mis-steps with the more dramatic moments that make it seem a little off also. I think it's ironic that the Wheatus song, 'Teenage Dirtbag' and its music video featuring Jason Biggs and Mena Suvari in a short film (seemingly based at a high school prom, so not related to this movie) was much more successful than the film it was the soundtrack for. It's a shame that this wasn't a greater success because Biggs is really likeable, especially in his American Pie roles, and he deserved more success outside of that franchise.

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        08.06.2009 22:43
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        Loser - one of the best comedy romances of recent years and a great watch

        Loser sees two of the stars of American Pie team up once again in Jason Biggs and Mena Suvari. This film sees Paul Tannek (played to perfection by Biggs) who is a young farm town boy who applies to go to college and ends up managing to get a scholarship to a Manhattan college but he is worried that he will not fit in as he has no experience of the ways of the big city like all the others. Paul is right as he doesn't fit in at all and finds the only person he can speak to is Dora Diamond (played by Suvari who is perfect for the role) who is a student who works as a cocktail waitress and is having an affair with their literature professor Edward Alcott (Greg Kinnear). Paul falls for Dora and hates to stand by and watch as Edward mistreats her as the film goes on we see Dora begin to realise what is happening but will Paul and Dora manage to get things together or will the jealous Edward manage to keep her under his thumb? This film is a hugely funny film and also has a great feel good story line making it one of my favourite films of recent times. The film has such amazing star performances from Biggs and Suvari that the film manages to have a great production value to it.

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          16.12.2008 14:48

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          A great little film to enjoy

          Jason Biggs plays Paul, a Loser who moves from a small-town to New York City to start college. Paul moves in with three guys who are quite the opposite of him, always out partying and finding girls. Paul has no money and no friends so life is hard for him. Until he meets fellow student Dora and things turn around for him. The only problem is Dora has a boyfriend, their literature professor Edward, who gets in the way of the budding romance between Paul and Dora. The film documents the trials and tribulations Paul goes through in order to win Dora's heart. There are plenty of funny moments throughout the film, and the chemistry on screen bewtween Jason Biggs and Mena Suvari is perfect for the storyline. This is a film you can sit down and enjoy at any time. It is not the best film in the world, however it is an easy view.

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          23.11.2008 02:30
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          Loser is Good

          I really enjoyed this movie. It was so very sweet, and it combined my two favorite things, love stories and animals. This movie is from the same people that made the smash movie hit Clueless. This film was very entertaining from beginning to end. It was a sweet and funny movie. Jason Biggs plays Paul Tannek, an extremely smart, a little socially awkward, but still incredibly adorable college freshman. Paul has moved from a small town in the Midwest to the big city to attend New York University. While at school Paul feels completely isolated. He is awkward and dresses pretty weird and his classmates make him feel invisible. Paul has one place that he feels at home and that is in the animal hospital that he lives in and runs. One day he stumbles upon a girl that he becomes incredibly infatuated. Dora Diamond, played by Mena Suvari, stumbles into Paul's life and ends up living with him while she works on getting her life together. She helps Paul take care of the animals and they begin to become really great friends. They are very sweet together, however, when Paul finds out that Dora is dating her college professor who treats her like crap, he has to figure out a way to win Dora away from this man who is just using her. This story is just a sweet and simple love story, that has an adorable twist that will hook you from the beginning right up till the very end.

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          29.09.2001 18:34
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          Everyone's heard 'Teenage Dirtbag', the song produced by Wheatus soon after the arrival of the film, Loser. And everyone's seen the video which accompanies the song, apparently based on the movie. Forget it, it's wrong. The main characters in the film are Paul (Jason Briggs) and Dora (Mena Suvari) who both appeared together on the popular comedy movie 'American Pie'. Briggs plays a young student at university. Picked on by teachers as well as other students, he meets Suvari, who is also an outcast, as opposed to the Wheatus video where she seems to be extremely popular. In fact, her boyfriend in the video doesn't even appear in the movie. When Paul sees Dora for the first time, it's love at first sight. She's thoughtful, intelligent, much like himself but one problem stands in the way of him getting her...Their teacher. Dora is currently taken by their teacher, who obviously wants her for nothing but sex. Paul can see through him instantly, and has to stop the relationship and begin his own with her. The film is good, and unlike many films of this genre, the loving relationships are sweet and not only based around sex. IM_ALWAYS_RIGHT

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            23.07.2001 18:32
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            Okay, i had wanted to see this film ever since the Wheatus video: ason Biggs (who drew me in after watching American Pie)and Mena Suavari (great in AMerican beauty and American Pie). I had expected this film to be a romantic comedy. It is actually more romantic than comedy but i didn't mind that too much cause the story andthe characters were brilliant!!! Paul (jason Biggs) is a small town boy who moves to New York to study at college on a full scholorship, which means the pressure is on him to do really well if he is to stay!! We can tell from the start that Paul is a loveable, sweet hearted, country bumpkin who is gonna encounter a culture shock in New York. Some kind advice from his Dad (the brilliant Dan Akroyd) doesn't really help him on his way. So, Paul moves and lands himself with nightmare rich-kid room-mates who frown down upon Paul's willingness to study. They make life extremely hard for him so much so that he moves out (into a animal hospital - strange but true). Meanwhile after making a dramatic entrance to his first lecture he meets Dora (mena) who he instantly falls for. un beknown to him that Dora is infact in love and in a clandestine relationship with the creepy and male chauvenistic Professor Alcott. So there is the premise to the film.. to see how it all unfolds you must watch the film. Even though Paul hs a silly haircut and seroiusly naff clothing i am drawn to him as he is a sweet, kind fellow.. all my friends that i watched this film with all went aaahhh.... at him. Definately not one for the blokes as it is far too sweet - definately a chick flick and a great one at that!! And finally the Soundtrack rocks!!!

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              16.07.2001 22:16
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              • "To different"

              This very American romantic comedy is all about a country bumpkin called Paul Tannek, played by Jason Biggs. He is about to go to start college in New York. He has little money, no mates and has to study his ass off as he has a full scholarship, which is dependant on his grades. He stays in student accommodation with a bunch of girl-chasing junkies. They tease and take the piss all the time, it’s pretty funny but a shame. He finds it very hard to make new friends but when he finally meets fellow student Dora Diamond (Mena Suvari) things start to look up, until he finds out she is dating one of their lecturers. The story is pretty simple and does not ‘grip’ you very well. I as well as many others got very frustrated at the uneventful storyline while watching. The characters is what makes the film though, Paul and Dora as well as Pual’s fellow flat mates are all great characters, funny, easy to relate to and imagine in my own life as a student. Dora is very tight on money and has to pay for her own education by working in some doggy bar. The film is very American and is nowhere near as funny as the typical American teen flicks that have been popping up lately (American Pie, Road Trip etc.). The directing by Amy Heckerling (Clueless) is very good when coupled together with some excellent characters but this does not make up for the simple and obvious story line. To sum up I would say rent it and don’t buy it. Many people like this film but since it is so American it can be very hard to relate to things that happen and peoples situations.

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              27.05.2001 17:26
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              Loser is the new romantic comedy by director Amy Heckerling. Loser received a relatively quiet release in the Uk and got very average reviews as well. It stars Jason Biggs (American Pie) and Mena Suvari (American Beauty and American Pie). Biggs plays Paul a student who is moving to New York from a country town. He has never been to the Big City before so he doesnt know what to expect. When he gets there he finds that he doesnt fit in and his flat mates don't like his boring ways. Mena Suvari plays Dora who is a girl who is struggling to survive in College. She has no money and therefore has to find serveral jobs just to break even. To complicate matters she is dating her lecturer Mr Alcott played by Gregg Kinnear. It wouldn't take a scientist to realise that Paul and Dora become friends and the romantic part of the film centers around them. Loser is basically an ok film. I was a little disappointed in the amount of funny moments in the film though. Biggs is a good comedy actor yet he plays a more serious caring role in this film. He does a good job though as does Suvari. The romantic side of this movie is also too predictable so overs no real surprises. At just over 90 minutes long as well it seemed that the film had run out of ideas so finished quickly! Overall I thought that this film was reasonable but I would probably not watch it again. It is very predictable and the storyline is nothing like the recent Wheatus video.

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                27.05.2001 00:52
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                I recently saw the new movie 'Loser' on video (for some reason it never came out in the cinema) and though it was really good. I have wanted to see this movie for ages, ever since Teenage Dirtbag came out and was a little surprises to find it was nothing like the video for the song. I expected the film to have the scenes in the video in it! I was wrong, although it makes very little difference as this film is excellent. It is directed by Amy Heckerling who did Clueless, and has some excellent actors in it - these include Mena Suvari (American Pie, American Beauty) and Jason Biggs (American Pie). They all show their acting ability in this film and play the same type of characters that they are known for playing (the typical american teenager). Basically the film is yet another Romantic Comedy from the States that is based at university. The story runs like this... Paul (played by Jason Biggs) is a small town boy who gets an academic scholorship to study in New York City. He therefore has to work hard to keep his grades high, this is difficult with 3 crazy fun loving roommates who do anything but keep the noise down! They decide he doesnt fit in so they kick him out and he ends up living in a vets clinic looking after animals and sharing his room with them! However they are soon his friends again when you are banned from having drugs or alcohol in their university halls. This is around the time that he meets Dora (Mena Suvari) a girl on his course who is very friendly with the lecturer, he falls for her and the story unfolds. I wont give any more away otherwise it'll be spoiled if you havent seen it...but you can probably guess the outline of the story! The soundtrack to this film is excellent with tracks including Tennage Dirtbag (of course!), Pretty fly by Offspring and songs from Blink 182. It really fits with the film and will make an excellent cd album. It also has some very funny scripting and the characters do an excellent job. It is a very typical american film like many others (10 things i hate about you, american pie etc) but it is well worth a watch. It does bring a different perspective to the typical film cos it is set at university which helps to make it more enjoyable. If you are expecting another American Pie, expect to be disappointed as it is no where near as good...it doesnt have the same comedy value or chemistry between the actors. But is good fun, light hearted film that you should not take too seriously!

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                06.05.2001 02:21
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                • Shallow

                'I've got two tickets for Iron Maiden baby!...cos' I'm just a teenage dirtbag baby, like you, ooooh!' lots of my male friends took great objection to this film because of the Wheafus song 'Teenage Dirtbag' used in it and obviously the blasphemy of taking the mighty 'Maiden' in vain. Well, I don't really care. I knew that this film was not going to be a masterpeice when I rented it and I only decided to get it because it was free (perks of working in a video shop) and because I knew that it would be predictable. The basic story is that Jason Biggs' character Paul moves to college in New York and finds the people around him to be less than welcoming, unaware that he is viewed as being a total dork by his chump so-called friends/roommates. They eventually get fed up with his constant studying and wholesome ways and decide to turf him out. He then manages to get himself a room in the basement of an animal hospital downtown - obviously . Whilst falling down the lecture theatre steps on one of his first days he meets a beautiful goth-esque girlie Dora, plated by Mena Suvari, who is having an affair with her sleazy professor, played by Greg Kinnear ( the Hollywood-handsome soap doctor in Nurse Betty). Paul tries to win her heart by buying some tickets to an Everclear concert - she stands him up and......oh, I'm bored all over again! the rest of the film involves kittens, bread theft, stomach pumping and indulgent shots of Dora looking delicate and gorgeous! O.K?And plenty of unsubtle endorsements throught. This is your standard American geek wins girl/boy format, and it doesn't seem to stray far from its usual path. Dan Ackroyd is nearly always cool in films, but you hardly notice his bit-part as Pauls father and it really doesn't do him any big favours in the reputation department., not because any of the acting is particularly bad, but because it's so damn bland. I did find mys elf smiling to myself on several occasions, however, as it was sometimes quite sweet. Although I wouldn't go so far as to say that it was 'good', i wouldn't say that it was terrible and would probably recommend it as a ' do something else while your watching it' kind of film, you could make your tea, pick your feet, mend a stocking...whatever, and not miss the plots' amazing twists and revelations - cos' there are none! I'm just not sure what the point is to films like these. So, don't let the Iron Maiden references in the soundtrack upset you people, it's O.K. You don't have to think about it - just sit back and pick your feet! Enjoy.

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                  27.02.2001 03:02
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                  Loser is one of those American Pie/Road Trip type of films, very funny teenage humour. However this film also includes the lovey dovey stuff and makes you feel really sorry for the drippy bloke, ~Paul. The story is about Paul, a nerdy bloke who goes to university and ends up in a room with three weird blokes who won't let him study and keep him up all night. He falls in love with a girl in his class who is secretly seeing their tutor who is (politely) not a very nice man!! Predictably they get on really well, she doesn't realise that he likes her and in the end they get together. Although the film is predictable and slushy it doesn't make it boring, it is also a very funny film. Has the sort of American Pie jokes in it but maybe a little more subtle. No complaints about the acting, all very good and the soundtrack sounds like it may be worth a listen with songs from Blink 182, Bloodhound Gang, Offspring and Wheatus. I may even splash out and purchase it!!! (Very unusual for me). I would say that this is more of a stay in and watch film than a cinema film. Best to watch with a group of friends.

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                    22.02.2001 19:59
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                    I saw this movie alone on a long haul flight, grimacing at first at the description in the inflight magazine ans then suprising myself at the extent to which I enjoyed it. Loser is a breath of fresh air considering the amount of vulgar comedies (American Pie, Road Trip, and Scary Movie) that have been released recently. It relies on little sex and profanity, but instead has its success rooted firmly in the acting and charisma of young stars Jason Biggs and Mena Suvari. The film centers around Paul Tannek (Jason Biggs), an all-around nice guy from a small town who is now going to college in a big city due to a scholarship he's received. His personality is a contrast to most people around him, particularly his roommates, who like to party all night and taunt Paul. Because of his kindness and his apt studying each night, he's considered a loser. Yet, not everything is bad for Paul. He's met a girl, Dora (Mena Suvari), in his European Literature class, and he develops a fast crush on her. However, he doesn't know that she's secretly having a relationship with the class's teacher, Professor Alcott (Greg Kinnear). After some mishaps involving a party, Paul begins to develop a strong friendship with Dora and his feelings for her begin to go even farther as he wonders if he even has a chance to have a relationship with her. A warning before watching this film: if you're expecting similar antics from Biggs in American Pie, prepared to be disappointed. Loser is a contrast to that movie. It prefers to develop relationships rather than put in some sort of sex joke, and it's all the better for it. True, there aren't exactly a huge amount of belly laughs in the proceedings, but it's always entertaining, fast, witty, and charming. As I said before, the movie's success lies squarely on the shoulders of Jason Biggs and Mena Suvari, and they're as good as ever. Biggs nice-guy performance is his best to date and he creates one of the most genuinely likeable and true characters I've seen in movies for a while. Suvari is equally appealing as the role of a girl whose also kind but is mixed up in the wrong relationship. The chemistry between them is strong and the best praise I can give this film is the fact that I cared for their characters and wanted to see them get together. The other performances are suitable enough. The other standout is probably Greg Kinnear as the professor, whose smug performance makes hims a character easy to hate. There are also appearances from well-known comics like Andy Dick and David Spade, and their brief cameos bring a few good laughs. Amy Heckerling wrote and directed this film, and while her script may be rather predictable, her direction is still good and she shows the same talent she had in the 80's. This may not be her funniest film, but it's easily the most likeable. Loser also has other little elements that work to its advantage. The film features a good soundtrack, playing songs that are actually appealing and also work with the scenes and situations it's played along with. With standout performances, excellent chemistry between the two leads, Loser is a great date movie if your in that position and one you certainly cannot pass up if you're a fan of Biggs or Suvari. This is definitely the most pleasant surprise I've seen in a long time.

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                      25.01.2001 00:29
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                      It was my birthday and we all decidced to go out and watch a film. So we all got up to the cinema and 1 of us had seen every film except this. We decide that it couldnt be that bad so we gave it a go! So we bought our tickets and then went shopping for a little while. I hate shopping! Then we went bowling to prepare ourselves for what we thought was going to be an O.K film. Got up to the cinema about 10 mins early to get good seats. Ermmm no point whatsoever we were the only people in the whole cinema!!! So we settled down, got into the jammed packed cinema and watched the credits. It might just be me but did anyone else who went to watch Loser think that the credits where the best part? nah probably just me. Anyway the film begins...... hahahhahahahahhahahahhahahahahhaahhahaahahahahahahhahhahahahahahhahahhahahahah ahhahhahahahahahahahahhah, I thought it was meant to be a comedy, the funniest part of the film was the casts names! If your sitting there thinking to yourself it cant be that bad. Try putting your head through a double glazed window, times the pain by 10 and then your close to how rubbish this movie actually is! It was the worst movie I have ever seen in my life, and im not really fussed by movies. I couldnt believe how bad it was! Im not just being stupid and saying this but we really did walk out half way through, it was that bad. I prefer shopping to this film! The acting was terrible, the jokes where about the same standard as the ones you are likely to recieve from a christmas cracker and the storyline was ei because ther non-exsitent or very hard to understand because I didnt get it at all. So we walked out and got a Fatty A's instead! much better and better for you!

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                        10.01.2001 02:14
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                        Director Amy Heckerling (Clueless) gives us another teen comedy romance along the lines of ’10 things I hate about you’ and ‘Down to you’ . Paul (Jason Biggs) is a small town boy in the big city having just graduated to Collage in New York City. His three room mates Chris (Tom Sadoski), Noah (Jimmi Simpson) and Adam (Zak Orth) hate him as he doesn’t fit into there 24/7 party life style and ultimately get him kicked out, Paul then finds residence in the Village Animal Hospital, however the real story to this film revolves around kind hearted Dora (Mena Suvari). When Paul is late for a class he finds a seat next to hers and its love at first sight for him, but not known to Paul at the time is that Dora is having a relationship with there Literature Professor Edward Alcott (Greg Kinnear). When Paul finds out Dora likes the rock band ‘Everclear’ he gets them tickets to go and see them, at the time Dora thinks it is a bit hasty considering they have only past words to each other about two occasions before, but being the person she is she takes him up on the offer. When Adam runs into Dora at an off license where she is trying to get a job he invites her to a Party at the Animal Hospital. She figures she could fit in a little time before the Everclear concert she arranged to go to with Paul, but she doesn’t show for the concert due to her drink being spiked at Adam, Noah and Chris’s party. When Paul returns to the Animal Hospital he finds Dora passed out on the bathroom floor. Paul takes her to the Hospital where she gets treated. When at the Hospital a doctor tells Paul that she has Professor Alcott on her Student Emergency card, and not knowing her real next of kin, Paul says they are a couple and takes her to his place where he nurses her back to health. When he get her back to his place Paul accidentally tells Chris about Dora and The Professor when Chris is trying to explain what happened at th e party which leads Adam, Noah and Chris to blackmail the Professor for good grades and in turn they wouldn’t tell the Dean about the Student Teacher relationship which if got out would cost him his job. During Doras road to recovery they begin to get close, helping take care of the animals at the Hospital, shopping, etc. When Paul arranges a night in, you know the scene flowers, food, candle light and a romantic flick on the box, well Paul’s efforts turn and bite him in the backside as the professor is at Paul’s place to whisk Dora back to his apartment, but don’t fear when Dora hears Paul pineing on the phone to his Dad (Dan Aykroyd) about ‘the one that got away’ and when she finds out Paul had nothing to do with the blackmailing scheme and all this in tandem with the Professor acting like a, well what Americans would call ‘jerk’ because of her letting out the secret of there relationship, she goes running back to Paul, but not without the ‘I don’t wanna be just friends anymore’ speech from Paul. The thing that suprised me the most is how good the soundtrack was, songs which appear include the brilliant song ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ by Wheatus, ‘ Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)’ by The Offspring, ‘What’s My Age Again?’ by Blink 182, ‘So Much For The Afterglow’ by Everclear, ‘Aurora’ by Foo Fighters and ‘She’s So High’ by Tal Bachman. If and when the soundtrack comes available i'll be one of the first people to buy it as it contains some of the best songs I have heard on a film. In a nutshell I’ve seen this all before, its nothing new but it has a formula that keeps it interesting and while it may have been slated by some of the critics I enjoyed it enough to say that in my opinion it is one of the best and unsung films of 2000. So I highly recommend this film to anyone really, just watch it with an open mind, don’t just think because its a romantic comedy that it will be just another ‘chick flick’, I really enjoyed this film, more so that I thought I would.

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                          09.11.2000 02:27
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                          "I really do enjoy making racial slurs on ethnic minorities." Did I really say that? The words of Jason Biggs' character,'Paul' by the way, not my own. Unfortunately, the film itself is much like the above comment. You might get a half snigger out of it but not much more. While entertaining enough there really isn't much special about this film. Not what you'd expect from the recent stars of American Beauty(Suvari) and American Pie(Biggs). This is one of the main problems with the film. Performances by the various actors are competent enough (except for Zak Orth playing the corrupt lecturer, Mr Alcott who acts diabolically) but only those with the smaller parts, Paul's room mates for instance, actually grab your attention. Some of their antics are occasionally very funny and more of that would have made it a far better film. But as it stands, the script seems rather devoid of hilarity. Biggs and Suvari are disappointing though, as leading man and woman. There is absolutely no romantic chemistry between them. And Dan Akroyd, I know it was only a cameo, but we've come to expect better than that from you! The biggest failure, however has to be the evil Mr Alcott. Or at least I think he was supposed to be evil. It's difficult to tell when the bad guy doesn't act bad. A more pretentious, sarcastic attitude would have served the character far better. The script shows signs of hidden wit and is even quite ascerbic in places. Clever lines are dispersed amongst lots of crap ones too often, however, for this to be considered any more than the common teen flick that it is. Of course if you're a teenager, that doesn't matter and you'll probably enjoy it all the same. There did seem something wrong though, when we saw Biggs doing a Dustin Hoffman, sitting on the edge of a fountain awaiting his lady-love to the tune of 'Scarborough Fair'. How dare you, Loser, compare yourself to a classic like 'The Graduate'?!

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                          Writer-director of Loser, Amy Heckerling, has a way with teen comedies, from Fast Times at Ridgemont High to Clueless. She manages to take the clichés of life in school and spin them into cinematic gold. Part of her secret is that she genuinely seems to respect all of her characters, even the unsavoury ones. In Loser, Paul Tannek (Jason Biggs from American Pie) is a farm-town boy who's gotten himself a scholarship to a fancy Manhattan college. He's worried that he's not going to fit in with the sophisticated city crowd. Well, he's right to worry. He doesn't fit in, as his three dorm-mates are quick to remind him. The only person he can talk to is Dora (Mena Suvari from American Beauty), a cocktail waitress-student who's having an affair with a pretentious lit teacher (Greg Kinnear). Biggs is great in this film, the perfect straight man, setting up jokes that wouldn't work without his reactions to them. In fact, the whole film is so well-cast--Suvari is charming, Kinnear is entertainingly smug, the three dorm-mates are fun to dislike--that the actors, working in tandem with Heckerling, give a life to characters which, in less talented hands, would have been revealed as over-determined and exaggerated. Pardon the blurb, but it's true: Loser is a winner.--Andy Spletzer, Amazon.com