Second Best (2003)
Average Rating: 5/10
Reviews Counted: 17
Fresh: 7 | Rotten: 10
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 4.5/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 7
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 490
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
Jan 16, 2004 Wide
Nov 15, 2005
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Second Best tries too hard for sincerity, when it's actually more sincere when cynical.
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.
Might have made a good stage monologue, but as a film it's overstated and barely baked.
Unfortunately there's nothing very sympathetic about Elliot, or even interesting.
Though the essays are smartly written and Pantoliano manages to make Elliot vaguely sympathetic, Second Best is a long slog in the dumps.
Eric Weber's spot on character study of the restless and down trodden white America male is a bit of bittersweet magic.
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.
An embittered writer's movie about the coruscating damage of jealousy and the impossibility of finding nobility in failure
Curiously, watching the unseemly-looking and self-obsessed Second Best is not unlike being trapped in an abusive relationship.
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.
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