How To Stop Being A Loser is the story of life-long dork and lady-repellent James who is given a dying demand by his best friend; don’t die a “dateless wonder”. This advice sets James on a path to pursue the woman of his dreams, by employing the pick-up guru Ampersand to teach him the ways of the game.
This is the second film in a seeming mass-production line from British director Dominic Burns. It is also a departure from his previous and upcoming movies that wander the horror and thriller genres. How To Stop Being A Loser is slated as a comedy. A very loose description of this movie.
The word cliche was summoned to mind constantly throughout my viewing of this film, that seemed little more than a mish-mash of scenes from other dating genre flicks. But instead of smart, witty or even mediocre plays on the genre How To Stop Being A Loser offers poorly written and badly performed gags.
Richard E. Grant is the familiar face that begins the movie, and offers hope for the remainder until he leaps in front of a train moments later. From this point on there seems to be no actual story. Instead a series of scenes I have seen created much better in other films are jammed together without care for the simple elements of story, character or emotion.
Female best friend who is clearly in love with guy but he hasn’t noticed. Check. Pick-Up Guru to help win the ladies. Check. Sudden return of dream girl from high school who doesn’t remember his name. Check. Off-beat friends to act as comedic aside. Check. Training montage. Check.
Everything you would expect was accounted for. But all sticky-taped into a whole. In an effort to fit the cliches together character continuity takes a back seat and James, played by Simon Phillips, comes across as a completely different person each time he appears on screen. In fact the performances from the entire cast struggle against the poor script and they do their best to make something out of the rather one-dimensional personalities.
Many of the jokes felt like they had been downloaded from Google and I managed nothing more than a single ‘guffaw’ the entire film. Normally I would put this down to me being a stick-in-the-mud but even my wife, who is an avid consumer of this genre of comedy, found nothing to laugh at.
On the plus side the cinematography is clean and professional, doing all it can to justify the bad content. For me the star of the film was the costume design (Natalie Egleton) which works wonders to create the characters and give them a life that is sorely lacking in all else. And British audiences will undoubtedly be celebrity-spotting during the many cameos that appear throughout.
Hopefully I am completely wrong about this movie as it will soon be in cinemas in front of paying audiences.
How To Stop Being A Loser opens in UK cinemas on 18th November 2011.
- 8 Actresses Who Tricked You Into Thinking You Saw Them Nude
- 11 Irresistible Movie Moments That Wore Out Your Pause Button
- 100 Things Wrong With The Dark Knight Rises [Video]
- 10 Scenes You Won't Believe You Missed in 2012
- 10 Most Infuriating Movie Cliffhangers
- 10 Major Plot Holes You Probably Missed
- 10 Happy Movie Endings That Probably Had Horrific Consequences
- 12 Ruthless Movie Villains Who Were Defeated By Complete Fools