Second Best Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 11 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 4 Ratings

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  • Summary: A failed publishing executive (Pantoliano) and his best friend from childhood, a successful movie producer (Gaines), compete for the attentions of the same woman (Tilly).
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 11
  2. Negative: 2 out of 11
  1. Sloppy but smart-enough-to-make-you-squirm comedy.
  2. Reviewed by: Brad Slager
    Two things make this worthwhile: The realistic relationship between Elliot and Richard, and Pantoliano playing against type and actually humanizing a possibly loathsome character.
  3. Pantoliano brings his usual degree of wily, understated humor to his role and is ably supported by the terrific ensemble, but he's unable to elevate a film that is ultimately as directionless as its protagonist.
  4. 50
    The strongest scenes are those between Elliot and Richard, which give Second Best a verisimilitude lacking in the rest of the film. The truest thing here is that these two guys have been friends forever and always will be.
  5. Second Best might have made a good stage monologue, but as a film it's overstated and barely baked.
  6. 40
    Weber's losers really are losers -- envious, spiteful, complacent, mean-spirited and ultimately boring malcontents pickled in their own poison, and they drag his film down with them.
  7. 10
    An ugly, amateurish film that champions mediocrity in a meta-attempt to justify its own ineptitude.

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 1 out of 3
  1. roxw.
    Dec 2, 2005
    This is a very funny and honest film, perhaps too honest for most people. it doesn't champion mediocrity, it rages against it and shows us how lazy we've become by settling for second best in almost every aspect of our lives. second best is an important cultural statement. it holds the mirror very closely to our faces. more real, more funny, and much better written than 'sideways'. Collapse
  2. BethM.
    Dec 30, 2005
    I thought this movie was refreshing - a real life scenerio. This is the stuff most people live with every day - not "Hollywood." Compare the cheesy, over done, non intellectually challenging movies that Hollywood pumps out with French films. French movies have heart and soul and don't use perfect-A list role characters. They use imperfect actors who don't need a que card to tell them it's time to start showing emotion. Though this movie has nothing to do with the French movie industry - my point is it's "real" and the only people who find the whole "loser" thing depressing are probably standing in a heap of denial. Would I go out and buy myself a copy to watch again? No, probably not. Did this movie inspire me. No - it didn't. But, I enjoyed it. It took me from my daily life and helped me escape for 86 minutes. And, it wasn't "Hollywood" - it was fresh, which is what I was most fond of. Expand
  3. JonA
    Nov 28, 2005
    Annoying as hell, so poorly done that it gave me a headache.