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Second Best

Second Best (2003)

tomatometer

30

Average Rating: 4.5/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 7

No consensus yet.

audience

32

liked it
Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 490

My Rating

Movie Info

Writer Eric Weber (author of the infamous paperback How to Pick Up Girls) directs his screenplay Second Best. Set in New Jersey, the story concerns a group of fiftysomething men dealing with their feelings of inadequacy. Struggling writer Elliot (Joe Pantoliano) is the most desperate of the bunch, having failed in the publishing business and trying to finish writing a screenplay. The group prepares for a visit from their old childhood friend who is now a big-time Hollywood producer. Elliot hopes

R,

Comedy

Eric Weber

Nov 15, 2005

Velocity Films

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All Critics (21) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (7) | Rotten (10) | DVD (5)

Second Best tries too hard for sincerity, when it's actually more sincere when cynical.

October 27, 2005 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

While the dialogue and characterizations frequently resonate with uncomfortable truths and some genuine humor, the central character's quirks are far more irritating than illuminating.

June 15, 2005
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Might have made a good stage monologue, but as a film it's overstated and barely baked.

June 1, 2005 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Unfortunately there's nothing very sympathetic about Elliot, or even interesting.

May 27, 2005 Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Though the essays are smartly written and Pantoliano manages to make Elliot vaguely sympathetic, Second Best is a long slog in the dumps.

May 27, 2005 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Eric Weber's spot on character study of the restless and down trodden white America male is a bit of bittersweet magic.

June 4, 2005 Full Review Source: Entertainment Insiders
Entertainment Insiders

Weber's losers really are losers -- envious, spiteful, complacent, mean-spirited and ultimately boring malcontents pickled in their own poison, and they drag his film down with them.

May 27, 2005 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

An embittered writer's movie about the coruscating damage of jealousy and the impossibility of finding nobility in failure

May 18, 2005 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

Curiously, watching the unseemly-looking and self-obsessed Second Best is not unlike being trapped in an abusive relationship.

May 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Pantoliano has proved not only what an invaluable character actor he is but what a brilliant ACTOR he is, sans any adjective you can choose to lavish praise upon him.

February 18, 2004 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

There is plenty to admire.

February 18, 2004 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

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