The Baxter

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

I attended an advance screening of the IFC film The Baxter. I know, I used to go to previews more often, hopefully in the Fall there will be more opportunities.

Anyway, the film chronicles the anxiety-ridden two weeks leading to the marriage of Elliot Sherman who is the quintessential "Baxter" -- which according to the film means the nice guy who never gets the girl.

Before the film started, the writer and star, Michael Showalter from the Comedy Central show Stella and Wet Hot American Summer, which he also wrote said that he loves the Meg Ryan/Tom Hanks movies and how they live happily ever after but he always wondered what happened to the poor Bill Pullman character. So he set out to write about the guy who loses "the girl" and his story to find happiness too.

The humor is quirky funny and easy going. I especially liked all the flashbacks of how The Baxter continually lost his previous girlfriends to the "leading actor" in some corny declaration of love, thus also making fun of romantic chick flicks in general.

The "hero" trying to steal The Baxter's fiancee is played by Justin Theroux (Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle) the cool and rich ex-boyfriend with a soft side. Michelle Williams from Dawson's Creek, with dark brown hair, stars as the female baxter and Showalter's office temp. Paul Rudd plays her boyfriend and is in a funny bar segment. Plus other Wet Hot American Summer actors can be spotted throughout in bit parts. Oh and there is a scene stealing midget (Peter Dinklage) who plays their gay wedding planner who frantically calls his assistant for help when trying to leave their Brooklyn apartment, it's pretty funny.

New Yorkers and Brooklynites will especially enjoy the fact that the entire film was shot in New York and you'll be sure to recognize famous places like Chumleys.

Overall it was a pretty funny and unexpectedly enjoyable film, which made me laugh. It was also short enough (90 mins) to keep me and my friend's attention through out. The official release date is Friday, Aug. 26, 2005.

The after party meanwhile with Michael Showalter & Justin Theroux in attendance was at the newly opened Home on 27th Street and 10th Ave. The place was decorated in crystal chandeliers with red lights and black cushioned ceilings and seats.

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