Slackers (2002)

(In theaters, March 2002) An early contender for worst-film-of-the-year awards, Slackers‘ biggest problem is that it features no characters to cheer for. The “hero”, aptly played by Devon Sawa, is a world-class liar and cheater whose attempts at being honest feel like the biggest cheats of all. His slacker friends have all of his faults and none of his charisma. The antagonist is the worst uber-nrrrd to disgrace the silver screen in a long while. (It’s incarnated by Jason Shwartzman, almost as a dark parody of his already borderline-loathsome character in Rushmore) You might think that the poor stalked heroine would be left as the protagonist-by-default, but she’s so damnably boring that we come to wish the worst indignities on her simply for extra sadistic fun. (Fortunately, there’s a somewhat amusing gallery of supporting characters, from a militaristic teacher’s assistant to a sluttish roommate) Already starting from a character deficit, the screenplay mixes a few amusing vignettes with loads of gross-out humor and an inconsistent tone for a comedy experience that’s simply unpleasant. Even though I can name five to ten little moments that I liked in Slackers, the rest of the film is so worthless that I’d be hard-pressed to recommend it at all.

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