Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Just watched The Baxter last night, and oof. I did not need to know that Michael Showalter would use his debut film as a triple threat (David Wain, who steals his scenes here, is the one that directed Wet Hot American Summer - Showalter co-wrote and starred) to tell us the story of a young CPA who never gets the girl, only to discover that his dorky friend with an indie fashion sense is the one he should have been with all along.

Mundane and predictable enough for you? I didn't even mention that the movie begins with a flash-forward of his fiance leaving him at the altar, before telling the entire story of how they met, courted and prepared to be wed. It would be one thing if the film treated its tired, obvious template with satirical irreverence, but it seems Showalter is trying to get sloppy 189ths with a genuine attempt this breed of romcom. He even falls for the mistake of having your neurotic, pathetic lead be less likeable than every other guy in the film, including his romantic competitor. It's nice to see the crew from Wet Hot pop their heads in throughout, but the lack of imagination in The Baxter is horrifying.

With his primacy in the pack growing clearer with every venture, I now have a flaming mancrush on David Wain. Always bet on the balding and bespectacled.

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