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The Baxter


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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Showalter, Elizabeth Banks, Peter Dinklage, Michelle Williams, Justin Theroux
  • Directors: Michael Showalter
  • Writers: Michael Showalter
  • Producers: Caroline Kaplan, Celine Rattray, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Erin Owens, Galt Niederhoffer
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: December 13, 2005
  • Run Time: 91 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000BMY2K6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #103,742 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Baxter" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Bloopers

Editorial Reviews

This charming romantic comedy, starring Michael Showalter (Signs, TV's "Stella"), Michelle Willaims (TV's "Dawson's Creek"), Elizabeth Banks (Spider-Man, Heights) and Michael Ian Black (TV's "Ed" and "I Love the '80s"), is the story of Elliot Sherman, a conservative, risk-averse guy who is the quintessential "Baxter" - the guy who never actually gets the girl. More anxious than ever before his wedding to Caroline, the girl of his dreams, the arrival of her hunky ex-boyfriend does nothing to ease his fears. But, this time Elliot meets someone who can help. His eccentric temp is wild at heart and full of romantic advice. Maybe this time, Elliot will allude being "The Baxter," and even end up with the girl of his dreams.

Customer Reviews

And that is why The Baxter is one of the best movies I have ever seen.
Amy Henley
As the movie explains at the beginning, a Baxter is the guy in romantic comedies who is always left by the girl at the altar when she is reunited with her true love.
Robert Moore
The great thing about "The Baxter" is that the absurd comedy aspects of the film never infringe on the sweet and serious nature of the story.
Kevin Caffrey

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Robert Moore HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 9, 2005
Once in a while I'll see a movie with minimal expectations, and end up being utterly delighted. This is one of those movies. The film is the feature film directorial debut of Michael Showalter, who has previously popped up a number of places on TV and film such as THE DAILY SHOW and STELLA SHORTS. Here is excels on in all three creative tasks. I firmly believe that this is one of those "small" comedies that will build a significant fan base over the course of time. It is unorthodox in that the lead romantic character truly is not especially attractive or appealing. We've all seen comedies in which the leading man was supposed to be unattractive, but in fact was a pretty nice looking guy pretending to be unattractive. Not here: Michael Showalter might be an extraordinarily nice guy, but here he simply is not hot. He isn't merely unattractive; he has terribly posture, moves awkwardly, and dresses horribly. Much of this is achieved by make up, wardrobe, or acting, but the point is that when we look at him we really do see an unattractive guy, and this is crucial to the film's success.

See, Elliot Sherman, Showalter's character, is a Baxter. As the movie explains at the beginning, a Baxter is the guy in romantic comedies who is always left by the girl at the altar when she is reunited with her true love. Ralph Bellamy in HIS GIRL FRIDAY is a Baxter. Bill Pullman in SLEEPLESS IN SEATTLE is a Baxter. In other words, they are always the guy you know the girl won't end up with. In THE BAXTER, Elliot meets the very pretty Caroline Swann, whom he meets through his quintessentially Baxter job of accountant. Inexplicably, they hit it off, get engaged, and plan their marriage.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Caffrey on January 7, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Michael Showalter's feature film directorial debut will probably come as somewhat of a surprise to longtime fans of "The State," "Stella," and "Wet Hot American Summer." While some of the absurdity associated with those projects is in place in "The Baxter," for the most part, this is a sweet comedy in the vein of 70s/80s Woody Allen territory.

Showalter plays Elliot Sherman, "the baxter," a term used for the nice guy that always seems to lose the girl to the more passionate "bad" boy who pops up in romantic comedies. Quite an original idea for a movie, many of the same cast members from "Wet Hot American Summer" (Michael Ian Black, Zak Orth, Elizabeth Banks, Joe LoTroglio, AD Miles) pop up in small supporting roles. David Wain is also here doing his thing -- which lends itself to one of the funniest scenes in the film. The great thing about "The Baxter" is that the absurd comedy aspects of the film never infringe on the sweet and serious nature of the story. It's a fine balance of the two.

The only complaints about the DVD is there are basically no special features aside from four brief "blooper" clips. It would've been nice to have an audio commentary by Showalter, and maybe either a short "making of" or some deleted scenes -- but, that's not here. However, the movie is worth owning and gets better with repated viewings.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 23, 2006
Format: DVD
Elliot Wilbur Sherman (Michael Showalter) is a dorky and dull, but kindhearted tax accountant. Elliot has everything he could ever want, including a good job, and a nice apartment in New Jersey, but his life really becomes complete when he falls for the vivacious magazine editor, Caroline Swann (Elizabeth Banks). Although Caroline should be way out of his league, miraculously, she falls for him, too.

Eliot can't believe that he's scored such a gorgeous woman, yet there's also something that draws him to bedraggled bookish office temp Cecil Mills (Michelle Williams). Maybe it's the fact that they are currently reading the dictionary for enjoyment and are both up to the same letter. Swept away by Caroline's gorgeousness, Eliot quickly proposes marriage to her, but he remains terribly nervous, apparently several past loves were swept away by dashing ex-boyfriends, and he fears the same will happen again.

His darkest fears are realized when Bradley (Justin Theroux), Caroline's annoyingly perfect ex-boyfriend, and childhood sweetheart shows up by surprise at her engagement party, Elliot must watch as his best chance at happiness is stolen from under his nose. Can Elliot actually stay the course and win and marry the beautiful Caroline before Bradley reclaims his prize? Or will he end up with the quietly good-natured Cecil?

The Baxter is one of those movies that will probably be instantly forgettable to most viewers, and it is agreeably silly, but it's also fun to watch and has an offbeat sense of humor that is quite touching. The real strength of the film is that the four leads - Showalter, Williams, Banks, and Theroux imbue the film with a simple, inoffensive charm.
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Format: DVD
I went into "The Baxter" with lots of good will and moderate expectations. I believe Michael Showalter is a talented writer and performer with a distinct sense of comic absurdity. "Stella," with all it's zany irreverence, is one of the more unique programs in recent years. And "Wet Hot American Summer" is absolute genius--one of the most underappreciated, robust, and take-no-prisoner's satire in memory. Many who accuse "Wet Hot American Summer" of being "dumb" comedy are missing just how astute this film is--it's as successful in many ways as "Airplane!" was (but without the audience).

I knew "The Baxter" would represent the kinder, gentler side of Showalter--and playing the agreeable loser, he is genial and pleasant. He smartly surrounds himself with an able and attractive cast including Elizabeth Banks, Michelle Williams, Justin Theroux, and his partner in crime--Thomas Ian Black. An appealing bunch, this film has all the earmarks for success. It's pleasant and nice.

It's a pretty conventional romantic comedy setup. "The Baxter" is a nice, shy guy chasing a woman who he can never have while ignoring his real soulmate. Done well, this tried and true formula has worked hundreds of time. It's a moderate success here--it just flows smoothly along all the expected pathways. It's pleasant and nice.

The comedy is less about "jokes" than oddball quirkiness, but really nothing here is that "quirky" or fresh (certainly not if you watch a lot of movies and TV--quirky is getting harder to do because everyone's quirky). Because I liked the performers, I generally smiled at their antics. I can't say I laughed out loud but I watched the movie in a mild state of amusement. It's pleasant and nice.

Ultimately, "The Baxter" just didn't work for me.
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