Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Collegiate Age

As usual, this post was inspired by something else entirely.

I was watching the movie Loser starring Jason Biggs and Mena Suvari. The film's premise is simple enough: guy meets girl (in college). Jason Biggs plays the titular loser as a modernized version of Job, used and abused by life, but ultimately redeemed through the goodness of his heart and the trials of love he goes through in the movie. Mena Suvari plays the objectified female object, a "beautiful fool" (in the words of Daisy Buchanan) who hurts our Hero Protagonist while simultaneously saving him. All of this drama occurs in the early 2000s at some random New York college.

I, for one, was disgusted.

The depiction of college-life was accurate, but also caricatured. It showed the worst while covering the best in stereotypes. The world that Jason Bigg's character Paul occupies is so misanthropic that even New York couldn't serve as a believable setting for the kind of cynical pessimism that prevails for most of the film. College is portrayed as more party than education -- which is true -- and most of the guys are made out to be date-rapists -- which isn't true. Mena Suvari's character is so stereotypically idiotic that it almost makes one wonder if the film-makers were possibly misogynistic... but then they make the male characters just as hilariously contemptible.

[SPOILERS] Jason Biggs is downtrodden on more often than sidewalk, from his ex-dorm-mates lying to get him kicked-out to the very girl of his love and affection abusing his friendship to rebuild her own fragile ego that is constantly in flux due to her inappropriate relationship with a professor at their university. The professor (played by Greg Kinnear) is so scummy, it almost makes me want to spew sewage through a smile. Constant little things occur which offend my sensibilities, and the only relief is that I can remember that this is just a movie. It'd be sick if it weren't fiction... until then I also realize it mirrors a very real world. One I go to semester after semester, and even in-between. Le sigh [SPOILERS END]

All in all, the movie succeeds at entertaining, but in the worst possible way. It makes me root for revenge, as opposed to root for Love's success. It reminds me of the worst in college that I hate, and brings nothing good to balance it.

The only thing I could take from the movie that I truly enjoyed was this song from way back in the day:

So much for nostalgia...


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