A tongue-tied virginal geek receives lessons in the art of the pickup in charmless Brit comedy “How to Stop Being a Loser.” Populated by lead actors lacking either charisma or marquee value, and with a screenplay light on amusing moments, the pic reps a distribution challenge across all platforms, and is unlikely to achieve much traction overseas. Three-day opening at 17 U.K. cinemas totalled £3,300 ($5,300).
Following the suicide of fellow loser Ian (Richard E. Grant), socially inept online-gaming addict James (Simon Phillips) determines to take action, turning to dating guru Ampersand (Craig Conway). Despite possessing approximately 1% of the appeal of Ryan Gosling in “Crazy Stupid Love” or Vince Vaughn in “Swingers,” the unlikely mentor is presented here as a hit with the ladies. Under Ampersand’s boorish direction, James finally succeeds in snaring the interest of his high-school crush object, Hannah (Gemma Atkinson), revealed to be a selfish shrew; platonic friend Patch (Stephanie Leonidas) waits patiently in the wings. Visually flat direction and weak tech package suggest a bare-bones budget, while the crediting of 40 co-exec producers suggests an unusual funding model. Any other novelty is in short supply.