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The Tao of Steve (2000)

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Underachieving, overweight kindergarten teacher Dex finds a woman who forces him to reexamine his Zen-like system of seduction.


1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ayelet Kaznelson ...
John Hines ...
Jessica Gormley ...
Gossipy Woman
Mercedes Herrero ...
Gossipy Woman
Cheryl Anne Jaroslaw ...
Gossipy Woman
Nina Jaroslaw ...
Dana Goodman ...
Dave Bynum ...
Epperley Reunion Band: Bass
Matt Nader ...
Epperley Reunion Band: Guitar and Vocals
Dave Terry ...
Epperley Reunion Band - Vocals and Guitar
John Truskett ...
Epperley Reunion Band: Drums


In his early 30s, the beer-bellied Dex has things figured out. He's widely read in philosophy, he's studied Steve McQueen the prototypical cool American hero, and he's distilled Buddhism and Taoism into three laws that make him a hit with women: don't express desire, do something heroic in front of her, then retreat. A part-time job with young children, beer, guys, Frisbee golf, pool, poker, his dog Astro, and sex: what could be missing? Then, at his ten-year college reunion, Dex meets Syd, and the "Tao of Steve" may not be enough to get him what he wants. Plus, Syd remembers something important that Dex has forgotten. Can a cool smart guy, 50 pounds overweight, find his bliss? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Why do women find this man irresistible?


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some drug use | See all certifications »




Release Date:

1 September 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dex, der Frauenheld  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$91,791 (USA) (4 August 2000)


$4,340,373 (USA) (15 December 2000)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (TV)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Nick Offerman was originally cast to play Steve, but was let go when the director became aware that Donal Logue was interested in the part. See more »


When Beth and Dex are in the car together, she drives really fast and during a shot of the car speeding, we see a different person driving the car before it switches back to Beth speeding. See more »


Dex: Y'know, no one ever says, "Hey, God, how was your day? What can I do for you, God?" Or, "Hey, God, did you catch Letterman last night?"
Syd: Oh, and I suppose you talk to God like that?
Dex: Always. All the time.
Syd: And what does God say?
Dex: He says, "You know what? I saw Letterman and it sucked."
See more »

Crazy Credits

Special Steve Consultant Bruce "Steve" Robertson See more »


References The Jetsons (1962) See more »


Outdoor Type
Performed by The Lemonheads (as Lemonheads)
Written by Thomas Martin Morgan
Published by Universal Polygram Publishing
Courtesy of Tao Recording/Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

Slight and relying heavily on the "cool" factor but still an enjoyable little film if it catches you in the right mood
6 February 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Dex is a ladies man who has a Zen-like art of seduction under his belt. So despite the fact that his belt has expanded since his best days in high school, he generally still has that going for him even if he has generally underachieved in everything else. Basing his rules around the approach of Steve (Steve being the embodiment of American male cool) Dex has managed to get into more beds than his looks really should have allowed him to and generally he is happy despite being a slacker in his late twenties. When he meets Syd though he finds himself feeling a bit more than normal (which is nothing) and genuinely liking her as a friend. Will she make him look again at his approach to life?

The title should at least give you some idea of the type of film this is going to be because it manages to sound cool and interesting and a bit hip without really doing a lot – which pretty much sums up the appeal of this as a film. The story is essentially quite a nice romance but it is set in a post-modern word of slackers who have relaxed jobs, relaxed morals, relaxed approaches to life, relaxed houses and generally just shoot the breeze about nothing. I suppose it will depend a bit on your age but, as some in his late twenties (at least, at the time of writing I am) I suppose I am target audience and I must admit it quite won me over. The story doesn't really go to any depth and, at the end of the day it does just what you expect it to do in terms of how it ends but it manages to get passed all this by having the same relaxed attitude of the characters.

I'm sure it was not as easy to put together as it appeared but the film moves nicely along with a lot of pop culture references, slacker humour and a touch of genuine humanity in the romance. It wasn't the most convincing story or scenario but I was so happy to just buy into the cool nature of the world within the film that I forgave it perhaps a bit too easily for this. The direction helps because it all looks sunny and chilled, while the use of music is cool without being too obvious. The cast also help and, in particular, sterling work from Logue who manages to take a fat, sexist womaniser and make him into a character who has those characteristics but still managed to make me like him and care where his story went. Goodman gave a good performance and, like Logue, she came over very natural (probably helped by being the writer). Although these two carry the majority of the film the support cast are still pretty good and enjoyably fill in the film and match the mood.

Overall a chilled and enjoyable little comedy that drew me in despite being slight and not having that much to it. Probably best watched by older members of the slacker generation or those that have grown up but still look back affectionately, this is quite fun and quite charming even if these qualities are covering up a multitude of sins in the background.

6 of 10 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Fat Tire james_bandinito
I love the scenery in the movie...anyone recognize what State it was? lovetheoutdoors_2000
what aren't people seeing here? lilianelle
Not to be confused with.. trievt
Alternate ending? roryg-2
Duncan North? Who was he in the movie? FloridaFan
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