September 17, 2005



Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does.

This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon. Thanks a lot pal! Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

Cole Smithey on Patreon


Romance Delayed
Michael Showalter Finds Humor In The Romantic Life Of Nerds
By Cole Smithey

Baxter"The Baxter" is a Brooklyn-centric comedy about lifelong nerd Elliot Sherman (played by writer/director/actor Michael Showalter). Elliot's trip to the altar with the girl of his dreams is fraught with embarrassment, humiliation, and failure. Showalter fills the cast with a clique of New York actors goofing on one another’s performances with a casual camaraderie that’s infectious if not as entirely laugh-inducing.

Screen Shot 2022-08-20 at 2.12.17 PM

Justin Theroux, Peter Dinklage, Paul Rudd, and Michelle Williams keep the humor at an even simmer in a quirky well-written comedy that never quite comes to a boil.

The Baxter movie review & film summary (2005) | Roger Ebert

A "baxter," as we discover with the aid of Elliot’s opening voice-over narration, is his grandmother’s term for the guy who never gets the girl, or rather he’s the simp a girl would settle for because she can’t have the guy she really wants. This sad state of affairs is revealed to occur largely through the interference of some male rival (frequently an ex-boyfriend from a girl’s past) who butts into whatever level of relationship the baxter may be enjoying. Said rival steals said girl away to a life of imminent strife. In tax-accountant Elliot’s case, his dream girl Caroline (Elizabeth Banks) is a magazine editor who’s clearly slumming it with a guy who knows her family scrapbook inside out. Justin Theroux commits his signature brand of scene- stealing as a mystery man from Caroline’s past with far more carnal knowledge about her than Elliott.


Cecil (Michelle Williams) discreetly steps into Elliot’s life when she arrives at his office to work as a temp. With her short brunette hair, and slightly pigeon-toed walk, Cecil is a girl of many hidden charms. She’s an aspiring singer/songwriter whose imaginative talent holds the story hostage when Elliot makes his way outside of his lonely apartment to see her perform a nearby bar.


Adding to the comic texture is the ever-watchable Peter Dinklage ("The Station Agent") as a gay real estate agent named Benson Hedges who mistakes Elliot as a fellow member of the same sexual persuasion.

"The Baxter" is a good-hearted romantic comedy that achieves its uncomplicated comic goal of presenting an underdog love story filled with offbeat personalities. It gives a respectful nod to the baxter in all of us.

Michelle williams

Rated PG-13. 91 mins. 

3 Stars

Cozy Cole

Cole Smithey on Patreon


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Featured Video

SMART NEW MEDIA® Custom Videos



Throwback Thursday

Podcast Series