Loser Amy Heckerling
Published Jul 01, 2000It's been quite a while since a decent teen movie hit the theatres, and I had high hopes that Amy (Clueless, Fast Times at Ridgemont High) Heckerling's "Loser" would fill that void. Unfortunately, "Loser" is a huge disappointment. The movie has small town nice guy Paul ("American Pie"'s Jason Biggs) going off to college in New York City where, amid a sea of ruthless cruel people, he falls for fellow student Dora ("American Beauty"'s Mena Suvari). As Paul struggles to fit in in the big city, his three obnoxious partying roommates plot to get Paul kicked out of the dorm and, although Paul and Dora becomes good friends, he has a hard time winning her heart, because she is sleeping with their smarmy professor (Greg Kinnear).
A major problem with "Loser" is that many of the characters are so incredibly unlikeable it's difficult to watch. Paul's roommates seem needlessly and inexplicably cruel to him, and are shown to get their jollies slipping date rape drugs to girls at parties (a subject which the movie takes shockingly lightly). Greg Kinnear's Professor Alcott is charmless, condescending, and mean to such a degree that Dora's involvement with him doesn't make sense. Even Mena Suvari's Dora is far too pout-y and whiney to be a very successful romantic lead. Jason Biggs' affable Paul is really the only likeable character in the entire film, aside from the endless string of comedian cameos that grace the film, the best of which has David Spade as a video store clerk.
Add to this mess of one dimensional characters a remarkably unfunny script, poorly paced and sloppily put together, with a tacked-on happy ending that doesn't feel earned, and an overbearing soundtrack of generic late 90s hits blaring over every single moment of the movie, and you'll get the aptly titled "Loser."