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The Baxter (2005)

The Baxter



Comedy, Romance

Release Date

August 26, 2005 (NY)

MPAA Rating



91 min.


IFC Films

Official Site

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REVIEWS RATE:  Critics  Nothing's perfect, but it's worth seeing.    Readers  Be the 1st!

Cast and Crew


Michael Showalter


Galt Niederhoffer, Celine Rattray, Reagan Silber, Daniela Soto-Taplin


Michael Showalter



In every romantic comedy there's always that scene at the end where the leading man barges through the chapel doors just as the leading lady is about to marry the Wrong Guy. This movie is about the guy left at the altar. The wrong guy. That guy is called the Baxter. The Baxter is the kind of guy you "settle" for because you can't be with the one you really love.

And no one's ever been more of a Baxter than tax accountant Elliot Sherman (Michael Showalter). Nice but safe, Elliot has been left at the proverbial "altar" more times than once. From high school to college to business school, Elliot always finds himself on the losing end of the love triangle.

After swearing off relationships once and for all, Elliot decides to take the plunge one last time when he meets his dream woman, beautiful magazine editor Caroline Swann (Elizabeth Banks). But just as he's about to hear wedding bells, her hunky, long-lost high school sweetheart Bradley Lake (Justin Theroux) turns up out of the blue, triggering Elliot's fears of yet another colossal dumping.

As Elliot feels his life spinning into a downward spiral, things begin to change when he encounters Cecil Mills (Michelle Williams), an adorable office temp/aspiring singer just off the bus from Fergus Falls, Minnesota. Cecil tells Elliot, "Your problem is that you're not willing to take a risk. Leading men take risks."

As Elliot struggles to assert himself for the first time, a series of escalating comic events are set in motion, until finally, with Cecil's help, he learns how to step into center stage in his own life and leave Baxter-hood behind forever.

Co-starring Zak Orth, Michael Ian Black, Peter Dinklage, David Wain adn Paul Rudd, THE BAXTER, reminiscent of the classic American romantic comedies of the forties, is a love story where nice guys finish first for once.


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Reader's Reviews

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“..promising, quite funny, but ultimately underwhelming..”
by Chris Barsanti [Filmcritic]
“..a competent first film from Showalter which throws out more than a few surprises...”
by Edward Douglas [Comingsoon]
“..delivers some nicely judged comic moments..”
by Sheri Linden [Boxoffice Magazine]