Dinner & Driving
Vanguard // Unrated // $29.99 // April 29, 2003
Review by Don Houston | posted May 9, 2003
M O V I E
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
E - M A I L
this review to a friend
R E V I E W S
Graphical Version
Movie: Those of you who like "romantic comedies" know that most of them are neither romantic or funny. They also tend to be written by people who probably haven't had many dates in their lives. Thanks to the folks at Vanguard, a truly funny, truly romantic, and truly realistic movie, Dinner & Driving, is now available on dvd. The movie follows the exploits of a guy who is about to get married when a former flame comes back into his life. His insecurities are fed by his skirt chasing brother and the opportunity to have one last fling prove a major temptation to him. Here's what the back of the dvd box said: "Does the thought of being with one person for the rest of your life frighten you? It sure frightens Jason, a twenty-something writer trying to make it in Hollywood. His girlfriend of three years Laura, a successful magazine editor, wants definition in their relationship when her younger sister unexpectedly ties the knots. Feeling the pressure, Jason proposes but almost at the same time a beautiful girlfriend from college reappears in his life. Jason, faced with a major dilemma, seeks advice from his friends only to realize that things are not as they seem in his Hollywood."

Picture: The picture was presented in color, full frame format. It was a little soft on the focus at times but otherwise looked pretty good for a first time director.

Sound: Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo with little separation but a well done soundtrack.

Extras: None

Final Thoughts: The performances of the entire cast were dead on (except for the over the top cameo by SNL's Molly Shannon), the script well thought out, and entirely believable. The humor ranged from sublime (such as when the lead, an aspiring writer who teaches English to adults from various countries finds their linguistic abilities lacking) to near slapstick (when his friend runs miles to meet him after cheating on his wife). In all, it explored modern relationships far more realistically than virtually anything I've seen come out of Hollywood in years-not bad for a small, independent release that fell below the radar of most critics. Joey Slotnick, the lead here, reminded me of a funny, younger version of Woody Allen so it's a shame that he hasn't caught the eye of casting directors (outside of some television series and a handful of roles, he's practically unnoticed). I'm recommending it as highly recommended to anyone with so much as a passing interest in the romantic comedy genre.



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