I’ll start off by saying that this is not a good movie. I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea and think that this being #50 means that I think it’s a better film than Princess Bride, Psycho or It’s a Wonderful Life (among others). Regardless this film was an extremely important film to my high school years.
I saw this movie the summer before High School. At that point in my life I was a geek, a big one. When I say I had basically no friends I mean that I quite literally hung out with one or two people (who were also geeks). I was always in love with the geeky punk girls that I never had the guts to actually speak to. To put it simply, I was Jason Biggs’ character Paul Tannek.
Paul Tannek is a geeky kid from a middle of nowhere town who gets accepted into NYU. He’s excited to see a whole different side of the world, but is paired up with Adam, Chris and Noah as roommates. They are trendy, rich kids who see Paul as an annoyance and a chore. Meanwhile Paul starts to fall in love with Dora Diamond, a grungy girl in his English class. What he doesn’t know is that Dora is secretly dating their professor Edward Alcott.
It wasn’t until post-college that I realized the film was a modernization of the brilliant 60’s comedy The Apartment. This movie did a lot of things for me, not neccessarily all good. For starters this began a short-lived obsession I had to Mena Suvari. While the actress continued to be adorable to me, she was always at her most attractive in this film. Furthermore it filled me with hope that one day the geek would get the girl. I remember many a lonely weekend when I’d order a cheesesteak and watch Loser and dream that I’d meet my own Dora Diamond one day.
I’ve yet to meet my Dora Diamond, but life got better. High School wasn’t as bad as Junior High (although it sucked) and college was incredible for me. My freshmen year of college was easily the best year of my life. What’s funny is once I hate college, my need for watching Loser completely ended. As I re-watched it for this write up, it didn’t hold the same weight for me.
I still enjoy the movie as a piece of 90’s nostalgia. It’s got a great soundtrack and I still really enjoy everyone’s performance in the movie. I still dream of finding my own Dora Diamond one day, but at the end of the day, I no longer need this movie to get me through a rough week. But I’m glad that a depressed and lonely kid in 2001 had it in order to get through a rough week.