Comedy largely exists to soften life’s uncomfortable truths, but The Baxter rings a bit too true for its own good. Writer/director/star Michael Showalter means to make a romantic comedy from the point of view of the other man – you know, the perfectly pleasant, perfectly dorky guy who gets left at the altar when the heroine reunites with her true love. It’s a fine idea, yet with his lead performance Showalter doesn’t so much deconstruct the ‘nice-guys-finish-last’ maxim as he does prove why it’s often true. Speaking with the careful enunciation of someone learning a new language, grinning so sheepishly he looks as if he’s about to swallow his own face, Showalter’s Elliot Sherman has no other qualities beyond his irreversible nerdiness. Elliot is a one-dimensional loser; everyone in the audience would leave him at the altar.