By Merle Bertrand | January 10, 2001

Love it or hate it, Styrofoam is pretty amazing stuff. Yet, although it might be virtually indestructible, the food moldering inside it as it shivers on the refrigerator shelf isn’t.
Not that Buzz (Jason Oliver) cares. Perhaps tired of the donuts he scavenges from his overnight job at the donut shop and burnt out on the cold pizza his pizza shop employee roommates Zack (Mark Fite) and Dean (Timothy DiPri) bring home, Buzz finally digs into the unidentifiable sludge stored inside the scary Styrofoam clamshell.
Nothing happens, really; any potential Botulism bugs most likely drowned in warm beer or killed off instantly by the excessive cannabis residue in Buzz’ system. The scary part is that Buzz isn’t even the biggest dimwit residing in this rented house full of junior Lebowskis. That honor belongs to Claude (Jason Cross), a slacker’s slacker who doesn’t even really live there, although you’d never know it. Only Frank (Todd Stanton), an uptight and preppy young Republican sort obsessed with keeping his freeloading roomies out of his cheese stores, has a real job. Yet, he’s more miserable than the rest of this sorry bunch, primarily due to getting dumped by his babe-alicious but bitchy and materialistic girlfriend Beth (Cyndi Preston).
To say that not much happens in Jason Phillips’ “Leftovers” is sort of like saying Tom Hanks had some free time in “Cast Away.” Well, okay, Beth does make a pass at Zack while Jaquie (Christina Karris), an occasional house guest along with fellow cute pizza shop worker Audrey (Miranda Viscoli), finally realizes Dean has a thing for her. Oh, and the boys do eventually get cable. But that’s about it over the course of this film’s 103 minutes.
Phillips fills the rest of the time with some of the more or less typically musing dialogue about life issues that still seems to be popular in films starring characters in their mid-twenties. Some of this gum flapping is actually pretty insightful stuff, some comical, some falls squarely into eye-rolling territory. There are also a lot of rather amusing lower brow moments as well, as one might expect in a film about a house full of arrested adolescents. One running gag — and guaranteed cheap laugh — concerns the various forms of inspired body art everyone performs on Claude as he’s crashed out on the couch.
“Leftovers” isn’t exactly the most original film ever made. In that respect, it resembles its namesake; a sort of a warmed-over goulash of other ensemble films. Yet, not every film can be a filet mignon. And even tuna casserole, when warmed up just right, is every bit as tasty as this chuckle-filled slacker buddy movie.

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