How to Stop Being a Loser

Film, Comedy
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How to Stop Being a Loser
Dateless loser is schooled in pick-up lines by ladies’ man but realises it’s not the way to true love… This story may be as old as the hills but when it works, it can be funny and charming. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work in this Brit comedy. Simon Phillips is James, a geek smarting from the death of a lonely friend (I say ‘smarting’ because there’s nothing resembling deep emotion in this film). After attending a seduction seminar, James hires the speaker, Ampersand (Craig Conway), to tutor him. This man is kooky – you can tell by his name. He also knows how to insult a woman into bed, or at least into giving him a hand job, which leads to a few well-observed moments and many uncomfortable ones. School crush Hannah (Gemma Atkinson) is James’s target, with best friend Patch (Stephanie Leonidas) the pretty one in the wings.

Relatively charm-free characters mean this film plods from one predictable set piece to another, occasionally enlivened by one-liners and appearances from more experienced actors (Richard E Grant, Martin Kemp, Sheridan Smith, Colin Salmon, Neil Maskell and Martin Compston… director Dominic Burns must be well-connected). It’s not the worst British comedy, but if it were a TV pilot – which it feels like – there’d be little chance of this winning a full series.

By: Anna Smith


Release details

Rated: 15
Release date: Friday November 18 2011
Duration: 105 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Dominic Burns
Cast: Richard E Grant
Billy Murray
Colin Salmon
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This film has one redeeming factor to measure against the awful plot, wooden acting and general embarassment. Normally films this bad start with the UK Film Council logo and advertise that our lottery money has been wasted on it. This film is mercifully lottery free so none of our money has been wasted. The fools who put their money into this attempt at comedy have got a truly awful film in return. It will do nothing to further the career of anyone in it. You wouldn't want to take your wife or girlfriend to see it and you would be embarassed to watch it at home with your parents. Avoid it like the plague. At least, if you are male going to see the Twilight film with your better half will gain you some brownie points.