Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Sunday, August 28, 2005

After you deflower the 40-Year-Old Virgin,take The Baxter out for a power walk

Little Sister and I went to see The Baxter on Friday and wound up watching The 40-Year-Old Virgin Saturday(meant to see The Brothers Grimm but were mislead about the starting times online-bad Internet,bad!). Both movies were fun but I felt that The Baxter is a victim of too close a release time to 40YOV,so I'm here to plead Baxter's case.

The Baxter is written,directed and stars Michael Showalter(currently seen on Comedy Central's "Stella" with Michael Ian Black and David Wain,all alumni of the MTV cult comedy show,The State)as Elliot Sherman,hapless accountant who always winds up on the short end of the stick
in a love triangle. His grandmother coined the term"Baxter" for folks like him,who are nice enough to be marriage/date material,which also seems to apply to the ladies such as Cecil(Michelle Williams and I have to say the Dawson's Creek gal can go dowdy very belivably),the temp would-be singer who shares Elliot's love of reading the dictionary.

Elliot,however,falls forCaroline Swan(Elizabeth Banks,who also appears in 40-YOV), a blonde
beauty still holding the torch for her high school sweetie,Bradley Lake,who of course reappears in her life just as soon as Elliot and Elizabeth's engagement is announced. Elliot is immediately on guard but is such a good natured schmoe that he can't help putting up with Bradley's interfernce while trying not to get involved with Cecil,who has boyfriend probelms of her own(Paul Rudd plays her jerky boyfriend and is also in 40-YOV;talk about a small world!).

The Baxter is the flip side of The 40 Year Old Virgin in that both share similar themes of losers in love but the humor levels are on different settings. Baxter is very low key,with a very 1940's film vibe in not only the jokes(a nice trying to hide the other person from your intended bit is one of the best scenes)but in the wardrobe and visual look of the film. The vulgar factor is on the low side as well and Showalter does make you root for him-I got really ticked at one scene where Elliot tries to make up with Caroline and she lets Bradley tag along on their date. The two of them treat Elliot like crap and then Caroline accuses him of not being"romantic". He does stand up for himself but not in an overdone fashion-kept right in character when another
actor would've not been able to resist the chance to go off,bigtime. That shows true talent and

I had fun at The 40 Year Old Virgin;Carrell and Co. kick ass. Unfortunately,many of the critics are comparing Baxter to it and putting out the bad word on it. The Baxter is not the Anti-Carrell,rather it's a great bookend to it or you can enjoy it's sweetly simple charms for their own sake. Take a chance,people!


Jay Six said...

Somebody has their own superhero now!!!! Sorry for the lateness. Bloggers fault.

lady t said...

No probelm and thank you very much:)