Reel Deal: These funny flicks about losers win the day

Robert McCune

The nerds and geeks shall inherit the earth.

But all that the airheads, birdbrains, dorks, schmucks, spazes, suckers, weirdos and wimps are likely to inherit are sideways glances.

What’s the difference? According to the slang dictionary: Smarts.

Nerds are “intelligent, studious, obsessive,” while geeks are skilled in “scientific or technical pursuits.” Both share a weakness: They are “socially inept” – or “uncool” – but they’ve got the others beat.

Airheads are “silly, vacuous, unintelligent;” birdbrains are just stupid; dorks are “inept or foolish;” schmucks are clumsy and stupid; a spaz is “prone to hysterical outbursts with little provocation;” suckers are easily taken advantage of, cheated, blamed or ridiculed; a weirdo is a “person regarded as being very strange or eccentric;” and wimps are weak or ineffectual.

Movies, like life, are filled with all of the above – traditionally treating the unpolished oddballs with ridicule and mining their eccentricities for comic relief.

But more and more lately, nerds and geeks are earning hero status – on film and in the real world. They revolutionize, and even save, the world with their intuitions and brainstorming. What they lack in ability to hit on hot girls, they make up for with flashes of brilliance.

The schmucks and weirdos, meanwhile, are not without their charms. They can make fine friends, and can be fun at parties.

All are welcome at Reel Deal – there’s no buff bouncer or “cool list” … just acceptance and an open door.

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On DVD

Basically held hostage by himself in the backseat of a car, paused at a stoplight, Roger Greenberg has a sort of stunning moment of self-realization.

Trailer Time

Robert McCune is editor of The Independent in Massillon, Ohio. Contact him at 330-775-1124 or Robert.McCune@IndeOnline.com.