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Loser

movie reviewmovie review out of 4

All-Reviews.com Movie Review: Loser

Starring: Jason Biggs, Mena Suvari
Director: Amy Heckerling
Rated: PG-13
RunTime: 98 Minutes
Release Date: July 2000
Genres: Comedy, Romance


*Also starring: Greg Kinnear, Tom Sadoski, Zak Orth, Jimmi Simpson, Twink Caplan



Review by Susan Granger
1½ stars out of 4

Give credit for honesty in advertising: the title becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, as writer- director Amy Heckerling lifts elements from the brilliant Billy Wilder film, "The Apartment" and transfers them to college students in New York City. Jason Biggs ("American Pie") plays an earnest, shy scholarship student from a small upstate town. In his plaid hunter's cap with his kind, good-natured personality, he doesn't fit in with the big-city pseudo-sophisticates, particularly his odious, rich roommates (Thomas Sadoski, Zak Orth, Jimmi Simpson) - but he's not a really a loser. Escaping from dorm life, he finds refuge in a downtown veterinary clinic, where he falls for another penniless student, Mena Suvari (the rose-petal fantasy of "American Beauty"), whom he rescues from an overdose of a date-rape drug. She works as a waitress in a strip club and is having an affair with their cynical English lit professor, Greg Kinnear ("As Good As It Gets"), who's more into manipulation than marriage. Do the hero and heroine finally fall in love? You guess. Perhaps the most idiotic moment occurs when Kinnear says: "I'm sure if she were alive, Betty Friedan would applaud your epiphany." It's a line that may stun the very-much-alive feminist, Ms. Friedan. Misspelling "financial aid" as "aide" is another blooper. The message is supposed to be: trust yourself, take a chance and turn your back on people who take advantage of you - but the cinematic sizzle just isn't there. There are cameos from Steven Wright, David Spade, Andy Dick, Andrea Martin and Everclear, plus a trendy soundtrack filled with '90s hits. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Loser" is a tepid, lackluster 4. If you want to see good Amy Heckerling teenage romantic comedies, rent "Clueless" and "Fast Times at Ridgemont High."

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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