The Baxter: Movie Review by Kam Williams
In case youâ€™re unfamiliar with term, as I was, a â€œBaxterâ€? is the nerdy, nice guy women settle for, once they realize theyâ€™re never going to land the man of their dreams. In movies, heâ€™s the loser invariably left at the altar in the penultimate scene, just before his fianceeâ€™ flees the church with a handsome hunk.
Well, tax accountant Elliot Sherman (Michael Showalter) is a Baxter. And the prospects for this malleable milquetoast arenâ€™t great, since heâ€™s set to be married to Caroline Swann (Elizabeth Banks), a vivacious, successful, and attractive woman who, quite frankly, is a little out of his league.
But Caroline has grown tired of waiting for her old high school sweetheart, Bradley (Justin Theroux). So, with the wedding date just a couple of weeks away, Elliot starts reminiscing on his life to this point. And as the picture unfolds, we get some not so subtle hints that perhaps heâ€™s actually about to marry Cecil (Michelle Williams), the equally-odd office temp he often encounters in the elevator.
Written, directed and starring Michael Showalter, The Baxter is a droll romantic comedy which reminded me of a speaking Mr. Bean, as it relies on a self-deprecating brand of humor which is a bit of an acquired taste. Regardless, the filmâ€™s utter predictably sinks this exercise in obviousms, making its few funny moments not worth waiting for.
Fair (1 star)
Rated PG-13 for brief sexual humor and some drug references.
Running time: 91 minutes
Distributor: IFC Films