Romantic comedies are, almost all the time, a safe bet. The formula for these movies changes so little between one project and another that they feel almost the same. This aspect of the genre can be seen in a good light and a bad one. It can mean that watching one of these movies will always bring you something you want. There aren’t any nasty surprises, if this is what you want, this is what you get. This is why it is so hard when a film doesn’t really get to match the standards of the genre. Most Guys Are Losers is one of those movies.
Most Guys Are Losers is a film written and directed by Eric Ustian. The stars Andy Buckley, Mira Sorvino, Michael Provost, and Grace Caroline Currey. The film tells the story of a young man named Bo, who is getting into a relationship with a beautiful girl named Sandy. However, getting into a relationship with Sandy might be harder than the average relationship because of her father. Sandy’s father is the author of a book titled “Most Guys Are Losers” and he has very strong opinions about the kind of man he wants for his daughter. Bo must now seek approval before he can take the relationship to the next level.
Most Guys Are Losers sets up its premise in the same way that Meet the Parents did way back in the year 2000. A man needs to meet his girlfriend’s parents and realizes that the father might be the biggest obstacle in the relationship. It is a classic set, and it might lead to some funny situations. However, Most Guys Are Losers sets the premise but never takes the road of becoming an outright comedy. It stays in this limbo between trying to be funny and lighthearted and then just being melancholic and kind of creepy.
All the actors are doing their best job, and none of the performances are terrible at all. The issue seems to come from a script that doesn’t really know where to go and budget limitations that make the movie feel smaller than it should. There is a sequence in a bar that basically comprises at least 50% or more of the film. You can feel that the actors and the story are treading water, but because there is nowhere to go, the characters themselves cannot get out of the location. It is suffocating at times.
The movie tries to play out a theme about not judging people before you get to know them, but at the same time, it doesn’t really show a lot of evidence to support that premise. In the end, the message is clear, especially when dealing with the character of the tough father, but sadly, the character might be irredeemable by that point in the film. Even when other characters spend their time trying to convince you that he is actually a nice guy, when in fact he might be the biggest loser in the movie.
The rest of the characters, including our main protagonist, end up feeling like background pieces. There is a bit of narration coming from Provost at very pivotal moments in the story, but the delivery lacks conviction and energy. It is really strange. It is almost as bland as Harrison Ford’s narration in the theatrical version of Blade Runner. The character of Sandy also received very little attention, or at least not enough. There are some good background characters, and some good representation on display, but their participation in the film feels very small.
Visually, the movie does things very efficiently. The production clearly runs on a small budget, so it is trying to do as many things in one single place as possible. The compromises are understandable, but they still don’t excuse the fact that the movie lacks a lot of visual flair that can be done on camera. Ustian seems to be a novice director, so it is harsh to ask for more, this time. However, it would be nice if he could punch up those visuals in his next efforts. The filmmaking on display isn’t offensive at all, it is just a bit bland.
The movie lacks propulsion, and it feels very long, even when the runtime barely reaches the 90-minute mark. There is a lot of potential here, but there is also a lot that needs to be changed to make a compelling love story. The character of the father feels completely unhinged, and when the ending tries to bring you back to it, it feels like a wasted effort.
In the end, Most Guys Are Losers fails to be not only a great romantic film but also a comedy period. It is realistic tone would have been perfect if it had something more relevant and compelling to say. As far as offerings in the genres of drama or comedy, Most Guys Are Losers feels way behind the rest of the pack.