Mr. Wrong Finds Ms. Right in Droll Romantic Comedy

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In case you’re unfamiliar with term, as I was, a “Baxter� is the nerdy, nice guy women settle for, once they realize they’re never going to land the man of their dreams. In movies, he’s the loser invariably left at the altar in the penultimate scene, just before his fiancee’ flees the church with a handsome hunk.

Well, tax accountant Elliot Sherman (Michael Showalter) is a Baxter. And the prospects for this malleable milquetoast aren’t great, since he’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 he’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 film’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

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