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I saw this film at SIFF last night with my g/f and her mother.
I didn't research the film at all, just looked at the description and gave it a go. So when the opening credits said it was a true story, i thought it was a joke. It wasn't.
The movie itself moves along very well and the main character pushes the plot along with his "sharing" sessions in various 12-step meetings. He is ADD, alcoholic (recovering), has tourettes, and badly needs to be "liked". He can't keep a job and depends on his "Mommy" for emotional and financial support. Wholly self-absorbed, he is yet charming and innocent.
There is a love interest in the plot, but it really doesn't come off as one of those forced Hollywood sub-plots added for mass appeal. The male and female leads are impressive, as is the whole cast (many recognizable actors). Not predictable, and as I learned after the film... even the most ridiculous events were indeed factual.
I'd hate to compare this movie to anything, but I can't help but thinking of American Splendor (or Crumb). It's not quite as docu-drama as either of those two films, but the character (in real life and on screen) has very similar eccentricities.
Don't know if it will be released nationwide, but will definitely be in the DVD (ugh) cult film section of your video store one day.
I did not believe that this movie is based on a true story till credits started to roll. Sean Scott, "stifler" from the American pie movies has been doing same old college humor based films for which he is been stereotyped into. But this is so him yet not so him. He has taken little of all the characters he plays in his film and made this wonderful character which although you find it funny at times, you start feeling sad, cause he just cant seem to get it right. He channels all his screw ups by sharing them with others making them laugh at them. A good change, yet not totally different, from Sean Scott. Keep up the good work "Stifler"!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The movie directors made the viewer feel as if they identified with the main character's audience. It starts off in a comedy club and ends with it. The entire movie showcases and plays out his escapades, or rather errors and flaws, his "f" ups and how he perpetually turns to his mommy. It's constantly because of his inattention to detail and his constant desire to be heard and blabbering, that leads him to an inability to decide what is right for him. He can't even decide whether a yellow or white t shirt is better. He has endless idiosyncrasies, which include hating the word "balance," and they all make the audience, including his peers in all his AA meetings laugh. The ironic thing is he's a mentor to another b/c he's been sober for 10 years, and in the end, he's the one that is mentored. The movie comes full circle in the end, but I have to admit there will be times where you'll ask yourself, OMG, how could he do that? How could he possibly "f" that up? And watching the entire movie knowing that it was largely based upon real events from a real person, made me an array of different emotions that made this movie extremely enjoyable.
I have to be honest, I really wasn't expecting much out of this film, I mean, Stiffler in a serious role? but wow was I pleasantly surprised, pleased as punch I would almost say. A truly heartfelt film, you get the sense the writer/director genuinely felt for his subject, which from what I have read about this film is really based on a true story which makes it even more funny in my opinion. The stuff in this movie is so funny it could not have been made up! Really well done with the writing and directing and I think it was the writer/directors debut film? which to me is even more impressive. Some of the scenes had me rolling on the floor with laughter, all in all well worth seeing, great, original and heartfelt, I really look forward to seeing more from this writer/director and I heard a rumor he plays the banjo!
When I first saw this movie on IMDb I taught that it is surely going to
be a shallow comic-drama with a nice faced actor. It started in that
way too. But when I first saw the way the movie was going I started to
feel sorry for Jeff. It does get boring from time to time (that's one
minus star) and as much you feel sorry for the guy he starts to annoy
you (another one). The plot seems quite unique and it also is a very
hard theme for a movie so the director and the writing staff did a very
good job. On the other side it could be done better.
The final verdict is very positive. I must say that I have never seen Seann Williiam Scott in a similar role and he has proved that he is a very good actor he is definitely one of the pros of this movie. This movie gives you something to think about. I strongly recommend you watch it!
Who would have known that Seann William Scott could pull off such a
fine performance in a dramatic film with a comedic overtone? When I
purchased American Loser I assumed I was purchasing just another
stereo-typical Seann William Scott comedy role. Much to my pleasant
surprise I discovered (as will you if you watch this film) Seann was
portraying a real life troubled young man named Jeff Nichols, who did
in fact suffer from a number of abnormalities including an attention
deficit disorder, early alcoholism, Tourette's syndrome, and a learning
disorder. I assume the writers took liberties with some of the
characters in the film such as the sweet and lovable married girlfriend
named Lynn (played by Gretchen Mol) that Jeff Nichols hooks up with at
one of his AAA sessions. Jeff also meets up with a guy named Lenny at
the AAA sessions, played well by Jeff Garlin, who is a recovering
alcoholic and construction manager. Lenny looks up to Jeff (from one
loser to a bigger loser) and so they are seen periodically hanging out
together having coffee and discussing how to get out of their
Jeff Nichols had always depended upon his "mommy" Cynthia, played by Deirdre O'Connell and his stepfather Mike, played by Denis O'Hare, to bail him out with sufficient cash whenever he fell behind with any of his bills. He tried his hand at various jobs such as a substitute Grade 3 teacher but could not handle a class full of kids without getting in to trouble with the principal and losing his job. Jeff just seemed to be travelling through his depressed and troubled life falling further and further in to disarray. It won't take you very long to realize Seann William Scott's portrayal of Jeff Nichols isn't funny at all, and that's because it is not intended to be funny. This is a story of a young man with some serious troubles, real troubles, that even a loving girlfriend and parents can't help Jeff overcome. Of course there is some humor in the casualties Jeff causes as when he finishes having wonderful intercourse with his girlfriend Lynn, and leaves her a little memento on the bed sheets. There are numerous loser scenes that have some comedic value such as when he sinks his stepfather's expensive boat, or signs up for a month long job on a commercial fishing boat wearing nothing more than a Christmas sweater, or when he literally burns his parent's beautiful home down to the ground.
Although these aforementioned scenes may be somewhat funny, each scene brings us closer to realizing a great empathy for the real life Jeff Nichols, who actually lived through the movie ordeal. I do not want to give away the ending so I will close by saying that at some point Jeff realizes that he has to take responsibility for his own life and not depend upon mommy and daddy anymore. Don't stop the DVD at the end credits or you will miss the cameo appearance of the real life Jeff Nichols in his current job. This was a terrific dramatic real life role for Seann William Scott to sink his teeth in to. I truly enjoyed seeing him play out of character that as his usual dim witted comedic roles he has previously starred in. I was pleasantly surprised at how well Gretchen Mol and Seann William Scott carried this drama comedy through to fruition. I gave it a 7 out of 10 rating.
The story wasn't really straightforward (ie: it was a narrative of the character's screwed up life that didn't have a message or a lesson... at least not superficially), but the ride that you get to go on while watching it is really fun... especially because the actor is Seann William Scott, who (whom?) nobody expects anything good out of (b/c of all his mindless comedic roles), yet he totally owns the role... I was super happy to see the clips of the actual character (many apologies for not remembering his name, especially since he so fondly reminds me of the glorious negativity of Bill Hicks) during the credits.... That showed me the difference between the real person and SWS's portrayal, yet it it proved to me how well (do not read "accurately", only read "well", considering SWS is portraying the character dramatically, which almost always, as in this story, embellishes/exaggerates reality) SWS portrayed the character.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I am a great fan of Seann William Scott , And this movie has proved that he can do different kinds of role effortlessly the story was Excellent as it is based of real life It was a comedy cum drama based movie role played by Gretchen mol of Lynn was excellent it was simple and effective movie seann started as a comic actor now he is doing good movies , especially film like southland tales and train-wreck my life as an idiot . film was a bit slow Jeff(seann) was at it's best certainly it is one of his greatest movie ,inspite of a bit slow it was not too long just one an half hours , in this movie Jeff is person suffering from many mental sickness how he try to overcome with this situation is shown in this movie it is great work by every one
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