The Baxter

Rated 4.0

Michael Showalter, whose credits include the classic Wet Hot American Summer and TV’s unbelievably funny Stella, writes, directs and stars in this sweet comedy that stands as nice ode to the sad guy left standing at the altar in all those romance movies. Showalter plays Elliot, a well meaning, likeable fellow who finds himself engaged to a stunner (Summer’s charming Elizabeth Banks). He knows it’s probably his lot in life to lose her in the end, and the film’s opening shows us that he most likely will. The remainder of the film goes through the events leading up to his getting stood up at the altar, which turns out to be not such a bad jilting after all. Michelle Williams is adorable as the temp employee who Elliot should be setting his sights on, and Justin Theroux is hilarious as Banks’ high-school sweetheart. Michael Ian Black and Paul Rudd also join the fray. A lot of solid laughs, with a Showalter performance that is offbeat genius.