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Film / Loser (2000)

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Loser is a 2000 romantic comedy starring Jason Biggs, Mena Suvari and Greg Kinnear. The plot centers around Paul Tennak (Biggs), a Dogged Nice Guy beginning college in New York City. Nearly everyone he encounters treats him like crap, except for Dora Diamond (Suvari), another student struggling to put herself through college.

The film provides examples of:

  • Blatant Lies: How Paul's roommates got him kicked out. In spite of Paul being a very polite, agreeable person, who did more than his share of the chores, they painted him as a bigot with poor hygiene who left them to do all the work.
  • Catch-22 Dilemma: Dora faces this when it comes to affording her tuition. She can't work more hours while she lives at home (which she can't afford to leave without making more money). She can't qualify for financial assistance unless she gets emancipated. However, she can't get emancipated unless she can prove she has a work-study and her own residence. She can't get a work-study and a residence unless she gets emancipated.
  • Butt-Monkey: Paul, and to a lesser extent, Dora, cannot catch a break throughout the movie.
  • The Dog Bites Back: After spending the whole movie putting up with his roommates bullying him, playing cruel pranks on him, and lying to get him kicked out of the dorms, Paul finally gives Adam a well-deserved "The Reason You Suck" Speech before punching him.
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Paul does his best to be nice and friendly to Dora, then helps her after he finds her roofied. But for most of the movie, she only sees him as a friend.
  • Irony: Dramatic Irony, to be exact. Paul swaps his former roommates' roofies with harmless pills which not only won't hurt the women but, according to the pharmacist, might make them a little smarter. So, while the audience knows why the women at the party are alert and in no position to be taken advantage of, the roommates are left utterly confused as to why the pills didn't have the intended effect.
  • Extreme Doormat: Paul, letting everyone run over him, until he finally stands up for himself at the end.
  • Jerkass: Basically every character except for Paul, Dora, and Paul's family. Paul's roommates take the cake, though.
  • Love Epiphany: Dora has one at the end when she realises Paul is a much better fit for her than Alcott.
  • Near-Rape Experience: One of Paul's roommates roofies Dora at a party, hoping to take advantage of her. He doesn't though, and she ends up passed out in the bathroom.
  • Nice Guy: Paul, oh so much.
  • Oblivious to Love: Dora has no idea Paul loves her until she overhears him on the phone.
  • Perky Goth: Dora fits the bill with her clothes and attitude.
  • Politically Incorrect Villain: The closest thing we see to Paul's roommates taking studying seriously is when they laugh at one of the pictures in their psychology book of what is implied to be an autistic person.
  • Precision F-Strike: "You know what? I really don't give a fuck." - Paul to Alcott, after he refuses to let Alcott bribe him with a higher grade.
  • Sadist Teacher: Alcott delights in the fact that he may have caused Paul to lose his scholarship at the end, despite Paul agreeing to not go with the blackmail.
  • Stupid Good: Paul at first. He's overly naive and for some reason keeps believing his roommates. Part of his arc is finally being able to grow out of this.
  • What Does She See in Him?: Dora's relationship with Alcott. Not only is he nearly 20 years older than her, he blatantly doesn't give a damn about her.
  • "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The film ends with one of these with humorous text blurbs explaining what will happen to Paul's roommates and Alcott they all face some Offscreen Karma, then finally revealing the future of Paul and Dora themselves.
  • World of Jerkass: How New York is represented. Most people are self-centred assholes who are at best unhelpful.

Alternative Title(s): Loser