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Loser - Jason Biggs, Mena Suvari, Greg Kinnear, Amy Heckerling

Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Nerdy, good-natured Paul Tannek (Jason Biggs) is a square peg in the round hole that is New York University - his pot-smoking, girl-chasing room-mates hate him and everyone else on campus ignores him. But when he meets fellow student Dora Diamond (Mena Suvari), he discovers a kindred spirit. Dora is practically broke, has nowhere to live, and her boyfriend, Professor Edward Alcott (Greg Kinnear), is more interested in manipulating her than loving her.

The more people push them around, the closer Paul and Dora get - she helps him dress better and appreciate New York, he lets her stay with him while she finds a job. In the end, Paul and Dora not only fall for each other, they find the courage to walk away from the people who walk all over them - proof that even losers get lucky sometimes.

Persons of interest

  • Jason Biggs .... Paul Tannek
  • Mena Suvari .... Dora Diamond
  • Zak Orth .... Adam
  • Thomas Sadoski .... Chris
  • Jimmi Simpson .... Noah
  • Greg Kinnear .... Professor Edward Alcott
  • Dan Aykroyd .... Mr Tanneck
  • Twink Caplan .... Gena
  • Robert Miano .... Victor
  • Mollie Israel .... Annie
  • Amy Heckerling .... Screenwriter
  • Amy Heckerling .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Uh... losers.

What is this USA obsession with school bullies? I never met one while I was at school. Any school. Maybe it was the lack of guns in this country. In any case, in the USA the popular kids and the jocks (often one and the same) always pick on the unpopular nerds, geeks and tragedies. Sometimes this leads to school halls burning down (See Carrie and The rage: Carrie 2), other times it's not so much fun, like this film.

Loser takes a completely unbelievable situation and bases an entire film around it. That's bad enough in a romantic comedy where co-incidences are supposed to happen, but it don't work in a dramatic comedy. "But the film is a romantic comedy!" you say. "No it ain't," say I. Loser is a drama about non-mainstream people being happier with each other than with someone from the mainstream. Of course there's a romantic relationship involved (it's hollywood), and it's certainly funny in places, but the laughter is at not with and that makes it dramatic comedy, not romantic comedy.

Besides, when was the last time a romantic comedy included date rape?

Jason has trimmed down and toned up since American pie. That's either a sign of getting a better agent or dedication to his previous, podgy character. Either way, he has a lot more of the leading man in his performance as (another) loser than the first time round. Greg presents a completely selfish character who's so convincing that you are glad he gets caught out having an affair. Mena seems tacked on like the excuse for getting the two male characters on screen, curious since the film was auteured by a woman.

Nothing else to say except see it if you want, don't if you don't.

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Making-of featurette
  • Music video: Teenage dirtbag by Wheatus
  • Talent profiles
  • Trailer
  • Picture disc
  • Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Picture: Widescreen (16:9 enhanced)
  • Languages: English, German
  • Subtitles: English, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Icelandic, Hindi, hebrew, Dutch, Bulgarian, German, Turkish, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, greek, Norwegian, Arabic

Security censorship classification

M (Adult themes, low level coarse language)

Surveillance time

95 minutes (1:35 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

DVD rental: 4 January 2001

Cinema surveillance images

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