8:00 PM, 23rd February, 2001
Calling a motion picture 'Loser' is a brave move. But luckily enough this film isn't a loser at all. Loser is a straightforward romantic comedy where the relationship between two unlikely friends develops into something deeper than a casual acquaintanceship. Paul (American Pie) is a hopeless loser, but he's also the nicest guy attending a prestigious New York City university. He won't accept money from his grandfather, is nice to his little sister, and willingly hangs out with his dad. All this and he is on scholarship from a small country town that he has never left before ... let's face it ... the boy didn't have a hope! Dora (American Beauty), the other half of the equation, is trying to balance her financial difficulties with her studies, a night job at a topless bar (in case you were wondering, no, she doesn't go topless) and an affair she's having with her professor, Edward Alcott (Kinnear).
The writer/director/co-producer Amy Heckerling (Fast Times at Ridgemont High and Clueless), has brought us another tale of growing up, fitting in and looking for love. This film boasts some great lines, some memory jogging characters and advice about what it takes to be part of the popular crowd. For all the "nice" guys reading this review, there are plenty of girls - like me - who don't consider 'nice' and 'loser' to be the same thing, so hang in there! "... I've got two tickets to Iron Maiden baby ..."
8:01 PM, 23rd February, 2001
In this comedy from the director of Primary Colors and The Graduate, we join an all-male, futuristic planet, whose plans to dominate the universe are not going as well as they could all have hoped (no doubt they are too busy watching sport and porno whist drinking beer and re-arranging their crotches - yee haw - sisters one, oppressive male pigs zero). The leader, Graydon (Kingsley), decides that the next appropriate course of action is to send one of them to Earth to gain control from the inside. This could, of course, be brought about using mind control, nuclear weapons or any one of a number of scary and icky alien-esque devices. None of which however would be as funny as watching H1449 (Shandling) run around attempting to pick up Earth women with the intention of impregnating them by means of an artificial penis. Although enduring a comprehensive and hilarious training regimen, H1449 discovers through his many encounters with women the difficulties of the human sexual and pre-sexual encounters. Both genders receive a ribbing in this gentle and ultimately harmless comedy, playing on what differences we are told to think there are between men and women. Just don't take this too seriously, as it contributes to the true dilemmas of inter-gender interactions to about the same extent that Terminator II contributes to the intricate paradoxes of time travel and ethical dilemmas of artificial intelligence.