May 20, 2005
Studio: Velocity Films
Director: Eric Weber
MPAA Rating: R (for language and sexual content)
Screenwriter: Eric Weber
Starring: Joe Pantoliano, Jennifer Tilly, Boyd Gaines, Bronson Pinchot, Matthew Arkin, Polly Draper, Barbara Barrie, Peter Gerety, Paulina Porizkova
Elliot Kelman (Joe Pantoliano) is a failed publishing executive who can't get back into the business. He supports himself selling suits at the local mall and relies on hand-outs from his mother, ex-wife, and son. He also self-publishes a weekly newsletter on the perils of self-delusion. Afraid his writings will be rejected, he hires a high school kid to post them on supermarket bulletin boards and stuff them under windshields in his New Jersey hometown. After he meets the sexy Carole (Jennifer Tilly) and his newsletter begins to find an audience, things start looking up for Elliott. However, the return home of his oldest friend Richard (Boyd Gaines), a prominent movie producer, and the only one of his friend’s to have found success, brings Elliot’s feelings of inadequacy and squandered potential back to the surface. With Richard in town, the competitive tensions rise, and once Carole takes an interest in his friend, Elliot must confront his envy of Richard’s success and his disenchantment with his own failure. “Second Best” is a dark comedy that offers insight into how men view their own success - financially, sexually, athletically - vis a vis their closest friends, while providing a realistic glimpse into what men actually talk about when women aren’t around. This is a film that explores the different ways a group of friends who fully expected to achieve their dreams deals with the reality of falling short of them.