Title – Dinner in America (2020)
Director – Adam Rehmeier (H.P. Lovecraft: Two Left Arms)
Cast – Kyle Gallner, Emily Skeggs, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Pat Healy
Plot – Rouge punk rocker and anti-society Simon (Gallner) has a chance meeting with long term fan and outcast Patty (Skeggs) as the two strike up a relationship that will define their future in a country they both don’t understand.
“Do you think I’m weird?”
Review by Eddie on 06/07/2022
A modern day version of Badlands or True Romance (without the killing), the Ben Stiller produced indie Dinner in America features two outcasts of society banding together through a chance encounter as Kyle Gallner’s feisty punk rocker Simon and Emily Skegg’s awkward recently fired retail worker and music super-fan Patty find solace in one another’s company in the midst of the American mid-west.
A hit at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival where it was nominated for the covetous Grand Jury Prize and a key player at other film festival’s over the last few years, Dinner is an impressive feature from director Adam Rehmeier who manages to give his film heart and soul amongst its pitch black showings of dark humor and bubbling tension that appears set to give our two main characters a journey that can only end in way in which they attack life with a fearless recklessness that society has forced them to undertake.
Key to the films success as a darkly in tune exploration of lost souls roaming the increasingly unhinged surrounds of the American working class system is the performances of Gallner and Skeggs, who are both likely to benefit greatly from Dinner finally being available to a mass audience as their turns here suggest both actors are sure to be staple of the industry in the years yet to come should they stay as committed to their craft as they are here.
Full of rage and often misguided energy but also a charisma that is hard to ignore, Gallner does impressive work as the not always likeable but hard to hate Simon while Skegg’s is beautifully vulnerable as Patty who starts to grow into a whole different version of herself once Simon enters her life and allows her to be the person she was always supposed to be, even if the landscape and people around her might not be as ready to accept the new version her being.
In many ways Dinner is a slight film, there’s no big payoffs or revelations here and for the most part the film plays entirely off the work of its two leads but for anyone that connects to these two lost souls that find acceptance and meaning in one another, Dinner will provide a modern day gun-free Bonnie and Clyde that is fuelled by a wicked sense of humor and desire to stick it to the man.
Final Say –
A dark and sometimes tricky dramedy that won’t strike a chord with everyone, Dinner in America is a noteworthy independent offering with two of the more intriguing main duos of recent memory, making this character driven escapade worth seeking out.
3 1/2 Nintendo 64 consoles out of 5