The guy in question here is Elliot Sherman (Showalter), a dishwater dull C.P.A. whose grandmother had a word for nice guys like him who never got the girl: a Baxter. Played by Showalter as a nerdy bore with a basically decent disposition, Elliot is on the verge of starting a minor flirtation with Cecil (Michelle Williams), the temp filling in for his sick secretary, when in walks his WASP-ily gorgeous new client Caroline (Elizabeth Banks), who promptly sweeps him off his feet with her Ralph Lauren-ad-ready looks. Although it's difficult to see why such a bombshell as Caroline would fall for a guy the film spends so much time trying to make look like a first-degree schlub, the oddball pairing does make for some decent comic contretemps, and easily sets up Elliot's downfall when Caroline's ex-boyfriend, Bradley, shows up. A darkly handsome, adventurous, and wealthy scientist who likes to quote Keats and isn't afraid of showing his sensitive side, Bradley (Justin Theroux, slyly magnificent) is like kryptonite to a Baxter, and the rest of the film is just biding time until the inevitable happens.
Continue reading: The Baxter Review
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