Second Best

Director: Eric Weber
Screenwriters: Eric Weber

Institute History

  • 2004 Sundance Film Festival


Writer/director Eric Weber assembles a snazzy cast of indie notables to bring to the screen a spirited tale of jealousy, envy, and the inalienable right to be second place in the race of life.

A group of regular guys launch into a tirade of introspection when their longtime friend and successful Hollywood producer has a homecoming. No one feels the gap more acutely than his best friend, a failed publishing exec, working on a screenplay, living in Jersey, wallowing in denial. Things are definitely not looking up. He dreams that his friend will be his ticket out, but his own ego may be both his downfall and salvation.

Weber's writing credits are extensive, so it is no wonder the hilarious script of Second Best cuts right to the bone. And who better to play witty and sardonic than Joe Pantoliano, who perfectly inhabits the character of the chest-thumping loser. Weber constructs a film that alternates humor and pathos as it investigates a mostly ignored situation. In a culture that places supreme importance on being number one, Second Best attempts to get all of us who are number two and lower to explore our feelings of inadequacy and envy rather than sweep them under the rug.

— John Cooper

Screening Details

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