Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

Loser

posted by rkumar
D
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
Profanity:Some strong language
Nudity/Sex:Sexual references and situations
Alcohol/Drugs:Alcohol and drug use, including the
Violence/Scariness:None
Diversity Issues:Tolerance of class and individual differences
Movie Release Date:2000
D
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
Profanity: Some strong language
Nudity/Sex: Sexual references and situations
Alcohol/Drugs: Alcohol and drug use, including the
Violence/Scariness: None
Diversity Issues: Tolerance of class and individual differences
Movie Release Date: 2000

When a movie’s on-screen explanation about what happens to the characters after it ends contains a typo (“aide” instead of “aid”), we get some idea of why it seems that so little attention was paid to other details like story and character.

The sad thing is that somewhere inside this mess of a movie are a couple of characters we like. “American Pie” alums Jason Biggs and Mena Suvari play Paul and Dora, freshmen at NYU. We see right away what a sweetheart Paul is, at his family’s party celebrating his scholarship. Paul dances with his little sister and slips the money his grandfather urges on him back into his grandfather’s own pocket. And we see right away how nice Dora is, putting ice on Paul’s knee when he falls down the classroom steps. Biggs and Suvari are very appealing and make a great couple. We settle back, waiting for them to find out what we already know, that they’re perfect for each other.

Unfortunately, it’s a frustrating and annoying hour and a half until we get there. The other characters are all tedious and the plot developments are either lame “but I thought”-type misunderstandings or lamer lifts from better movies. Paul has three interchangable and odious roommates who think of college as a four-year party. Dora is desperate for money, so she takes a job as a waitress in a strip club, sleeps in Grand Central Station (after paying a homeless woman to tell her mother that she is sleeping in a dorm). And she’s having an affair with a selfish and egotistical professor (Greg Kinnear).

As the typo indicates, the movie has an unfinished quality, as though someone was trying to create structure through editing that was not there in the script. There are several unnecessary cameos (David Spade, Andy Dick, Everclear) that seem to have been thrown in as an effort to pick things up. A lot of the plot twists and details are so dumb or unbelievable, even within the context of romantic comedy, that they are just distracting. Why would Paul agree to a second party when the first one was such a disaster? Why would he and Dora believe what people they know to be unreliable tell them about each other? Characters do things for the sake of the plot that are completely inconsistent with the rest of their behavior. Some things just make no sense at all. If the whole movie is supposed to take place in the first semester (at the end of the movie they are making plans for Thanksgiving) then Paul wears that thick wool hat when it isn’t even cold out? When did Dora have time to meet and start an affair with the professor? It seems to be well underway when school starts.

Parents should know that the movie has a casual attitude toward drinking and drug use. Paul’s roommates spike girls’ drinks with the “date rape drug,” which is treated as little more than a regrettable prank. Despite the fact that integrity is a key aspect of Paul’s character, Paul and Dora casually steal bread, coffee, and theater seats, and this is portayed as clever and charming. Students also blackmail a professor into giving them good grades.

Families who see this movie should talk about how Paul and Dora evaluate their choices. Why does Paul go along with his ex-roommates’ party plan? Why does he care what they think of him? Why is Dora so wrong about the professor? How do people make friends in college? Paul’s father (Dan Ackroyd) gives him some very good advice, and another of the movie’s many frustrations is waiting for that to be important later in the movie.

People who want to see a better movie about this stage of life should see “Breaking Away” or the syrupy blockbuster “Love Story.”

Previous Posts

Trailer: Samuel L. Jackson is the President in "Big Game"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKThy0cipVA ...

posted 8:00:34am Apr. 25, 2015 | read full post »

Trailer: Song from the Forest
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekirhw2MMwQ I was delighted to see that there is a documentary about Louis Sarno, whose work I have admired since I saw the wonderful film Oka! directed by Lavinia ...

posted 8:00:43am Apr. 24, 2015 | read full post »

The Age of Adaline
Be careful what you wish for.  You think it would be great to stay 29 forever?  Adaline (Blake Lively) finds out that it is not great to become unstuck from time, to watch everyone you love grow old and die, to hurt those you care about ...

posted 5:59:10pm Apr. 23, 2015 | read full post »

The Water Diviner
Before it detours into not one, not two, but at least three preposterous Hollywood twists, "The Water Diviner" is an absorbing drama about ...

posted 5:58:54pm Apr. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Critics Write About Our First Encounters with Star Wars
The latest Criticwire survey asks for our first encounters with "Star Wars." I had a lot of fun writing about mine: A long, long time ...

posted 9:22:38am Apr. 23, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.