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Is it just another evening at the hugely popular Italian restaurant of proprietor and bookmaker Louis Cropa in New York? Anything but as tonight's guests include; a local police detective and his wife specially invited by the owner; on the balcony rival bookmaker gangsters from Queens who want to become partners in the restaurant; in the corner renowned food critic 'the food nymph' is her usual demanding self; and at the bar, seemingly unnoticed, is Ken. As the evening continues enter Duncan, inveterate gambler and sous-chef on-the-line in the frenetic kitchen downstairs, who acts as the catalyst that causes the evening to draw to its inevitable, explosive, deadly conclusion. Written by
Mark Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Director Bob Giraldi is actually the owner of the restaurant "Gigino" where the movie takes place. See more »
The bartender takes patrons money during a trivia game giving credit to George Washington Carver as the inventor of peanut butter however it was Canadian Marcellus Gilmore Edson who patented it in 1884. See more »
Delicious Slice of One Night of NY Restaurant Life
"Dinner Rush" will inevitably be compared to "Big Night," and other food preparation/restaurant movies, but I think it holds its own as a delicious slice of one night of New York life. As one character plotzes: "When did eating out become theater?"
The wonderful, winsome multi-ethnic ensemble of mostly New York actors --many born in Brooklyn according to the IMDb--who have done a lot of TV work are clearly enjoying making a movie as a coordinated team. Danny Aiello has his best, and somewhat similar, role since "City Hall."
Many of the references may go over the heads of those West of the Hudson or East of the East River, whether to Tribeca (as a newly trendy neighborhood) or Danny Meyer (restaurant entrepreneur). Or even the digs at Queens as the home of mobsters, which were greeted by silence by the Queens audience I saw it with.
The upstairs/downstairs of the kitchen scrambles vs. the dining pleasures and everyone's personal spices are lots of fun. The actors playing obnoxious customers, like Sandra Bernhard, do so with relish but not overplayed.
Keep your palate clear by not looking at the ad campaign or reading the reviews, as I think they give the plot away and I was totally surprised by the ending, er, the dessert.
(originally written 9/29/2001)
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