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Loser is the latest American College movie from director Amy Heckerling (Clueless). It reunites American Pie stars Jason Biggs (American Pie) and Mena Suvari (American Beauty) for a comedy about trust and friendship.

Jason Biggs plays Paul Tannek who is a guy living in a small town who has never been to the city. All is about to change for him when he gets accepted to a College in New York. Paul is nervous about going, as his whole life is in the country and he is afraid that he will not make any friends. His dad, played by Dan Aykroyd, (Ghostbusters) persuades him that he is a clever and friendly guy and will have no problems making friends in New York. Paul moves to the big city full of hope but things soon go wrong when he moves in with three roommates, whom he doesn’t get on with. Paul is determined to work and his flatmates are only interested in partying. Things couldn’t get any worse for Paul until he meets Dora Diamond (Suvari). She is a student who is struggling to find the money to stay at college. She works in the local Strip Club to earn money. Her life is complicated further by the fact that she is dating Professor Alcott, her teacher played by Gregg Kinnear (As Good As It Gets). Professor Alcott wants their romance kept secret as he could be suspended from college if the authorities found out about it.

Paul and Dora meet in Mr Alcott’s lecture. Paul has no friends at this stage and is happy with the attention Dora pays him. Things blossom from there and Paul and Dora become good friends after a life-threatening incident brings the two of them together. It doesn’t take much guesswork to realise that romance could blossom between the two and that is what the rest of the movie centres around.

The acting in this movie is actually quite good. Jason Biggs does a good job as Paul the lead character. His character is supposed to be a loser but actually he is far from it. This is one of the downfalls of the movie in my opinion. Paul is just an every day guy who is concerned with his work and doesn’t want to fall behind. Paul is a sweet, bright guy and Jason Biggs plays the role well. I suppose the meaning of this film was supposed to be about how some people are considered Losers even though they are actually very nice. However this point did not come over very well in the movie. Mena Suvari also comes out of the movie with credit. She plays the grungy student with great confidence and shows that she is an actress with a bright future. Also worth mentioning is Greg Kinnear who plays the bad Professor Alcott. Kinnear’s character is an annoying image conscious bossy person and Kinnear plays the role well. At certain times in the movie I felt myself urging Dora to punch him, and Kinnear must deserve credit for that! Dan Aykroyd also stars in the movie but only for about 5 minutes in total. To the distributors credit they have not included his name on the front cover.

I have to admit to being disappointed with this film. I cannot seem to decide what classification to put it in. Before reviewing the film I thought it was a romantic comedy but apart from the opening 5 minutes there are very few funny moments. Therefore I would have to classify it as a romantic movie, which it does not do a very job of being. The storyline is very predictable and the ending can be predicted from about 20 minutes into the film. The actors cannot be blamed for making this film a failure as they do their best with a lame script. I have to say that I was not bored throughout the movie but that would probably be more to do with the fact that the movie was only just over 90 minutes long. It seems that the makers probably ran out of things to include as the end scene which was built up for about half of the movie seems to come and go before you know it! There have been a handful of American Teen movies released over the last couple of years and this has to be one of the poorest ones. One redeeming feature is that this movie has a good soundtrack, which makes the film a little more enjoyable.

The disc offers a Widescreen and Full Screen presentation of the movie which can be chosen when the menu systems starts. The widescreen version is anamorphic and offers an aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The transfer seems reasonable for a relatively recent release. The detail was sharp and crisp and the colours seemed to be full of life. Overall a reasonable transfer of the movie. The menus are pretty simple and offer no animation.

The Loser DVD contains English Dolby Surround, English 5.1 Dolby Digital as well as a French, Spanish and Portuguese version. Credit has to be given for including multi languages as many Region 1 DVDs released only contain English soundtracks. As with most comedy movies Loser doesn’t really make full use of the audio available. Throughout the movie most of the sound comes out of the front speakers and it was quite a shock to hear the rear speaker suddenly coming into life during some of the music scenes in the movie. Due to the nature of the film I cannot complain about the quality of the audio as it does the job well. Also included on the disc are an impressive amount of subtitles. Languages included are English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Chinese, Korean and Thai.

The extras on this disc are pretty disappointing but you wouldn’t really expect any more from a disappointing movie! The highlight of the disc is the Wheatus video, which is included. For fans of the “Teenage Dirtbag” video you will be disappointed to hear that the footage from the movie has nothing to do with the film. I watched the video after the film and I only noticed one scene from the movie. Also included on the disc is a 4 and a half-minute featurette. The featurette has the stars talking about the film and explaining their characters.

There are also Theatrical Trailers which not only include “Loser” but “Whatever It takes”, As Good As It Gets” and “Can’t Hardly Wait”. There is also a talent file and production notes, but nothing of real interest.

If you add up the minutes of any of the extras that you would be interested in on this disc and you get to about 6-7 minutes and then struggle to find anything else of value. The audio and subtitle options are above average but the overall extras are among the worst I have seen on a recent release.

I was expecting good things from this movie and at the very least I was hoping to laugh a few times. Overall this movie is not the worst movie that I have seen but it is not the best either. The storyline is predictable and doesn’t offer anything different from all the other American college movies released over the past couple of years.