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, a nice ode to the sad guy left standing at the altar in all those other romantic movies. Showalter plays Elliot, a well-meaning, likable 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. What follows are the events leading up to Elliot’s bad fortune at the altar, which turns out to be not such a terrible jilting after all. Michelle Williams is adorable as the temp employee that 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 of offbeat genius.