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By Stina Chyn | January 4, 2005

Successfully learn from the best or be yourself is the message in J.C. Khoury’s short comedy “Model Chaser.” Jeremy (Yuri Lowenthal) is an amateur DJ who works in the mailroom of ‘Shebang’ magazine. Clad in low-riding blue jeans, an over-sized button-down shirt, and a backwards cap, this happy-go-lucky guy is the embodiment of what a person would be like if Vanilla Ice and a less intense Eminem morphed into one. His positive illusions are strong, and though he more or less dresses hip-hop, he’s definitely more “hop” than “hip.” He’s surrounded by gorgeous women who look like they’ve just wrapped a Revlon or Pantene commercial, but he is so unlucky with the ladies that he needs help from an expert. At Jeremy’s earnest request, Eddie (Nicoye Banks), a popular columnist at ‘Shebang,’ agrees to teach him how to pick up women.

Eddie takes his eager pupil to a trendy club for a lesson on how to score phone numbers. Before Jeremy can watch the master at work, though, he receives a few words of advice. Set all mobile devices to vibrate, for instance. What happens in the club emphasizes the differences between the two men. Everything that comes out of Eddie is gold. His lines are original and his delivery style suggests good intentions. It’s no wonder that women offer their contact information without batting an eyelash. Jeremy emulates his teacher to the best of his ability but has disappointing results to show for his efforts. He lacks the confidence and the charm to close the deal.

Furthermore, Jeremy doesn’t repeat Eddie’s pick-up lines verbatim, but then he still wouldn’t get any numbers even if he had uttered the exact words. He’s too much of a visual contrast to Eddie, who’s dressed in a killer black suit. Jeremy wears a big short-sleeved T-shirt over a long-sleeved T-shirt, a backwards cap, and baggy, light blue jeans that are held to his upper thighs with a black belt. The enormous headphones cupped around his neck is the cherry on top of this outfit that screams 1995.

A testament that imitation only works when done properly, “Model Chaser” recommends that people just be themselves.

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