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"Dinner for Five"
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Reviews & Ratings for
"Dinner for Five" More at IMDbPro »

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7 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Favreau: ", just relax."

Author: minidonut from Los Angeles
15 September 2004

I don't get cable but I was able to rent the first season of this show and despite some problems, I really enjoyed it. I think it's a great idea and IFC and the producers (Jon plus others) really followed their instincts and got it right. Also, it's very rare to take chances in this town. I'll start off by saying what's great with this show is that the dinner setting and the drinking really does put the subjects at ease and you do get a sense of them as people and not just celebrities--very refreshing! I have to admit there are moments where the show simply gets boring and you fast forward, but these moments are only because real life and real people--yes, celebrities are just people--can be boring and this show so very well dispels any notion that celebrities are inherently exciting. It is ironically why the show works. There is obviously a lot of editing that goes into each of these shows and they show us the more select bits; and I'm sure legally cleared sections only. I do agree with some of the gripe mentioned by others that Jon has a tendency to cut his guests off and chime in himself--and even "toot his own horn." Maybe it was the first season and he was nervous and now has tapered this off a bit. Also, I noticed that some of the guests were a bit marginal and seemed to only be on the show because of their relationship with Jon outside the show? Also, there were not enough women guests and sometimes it felt like an all male poker game without the cards. On the whole, it's a decent show and will only get better as Jon gains confidence and the guest list evens out.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Amazing director/producer/actor training...

Author: darrell-105 from United States
5 January 2009

I wish this show was still on the air. I have watched all four seasons on DVD over and over. I am still learning about the business of making films. So far in my career I have edited a few concert DVD's, music videos, and some wedding videos but I really want to make a small indie film. Probably very small at first. I plan on finishing my first screenplay shooting and directing it myself this year. These DVD's have been so helpful in my process. Does anyone know of any other resources like this show?

Jon - KUDO'S to you for creating this great informative show. Oh, and the comedy is so sincere that I laugh out loud all of the time.

Cheers to Favreau!!!

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Funny show

Author: SilentBob GnR from Cedar Lake, IN
5 January 2002

I saw this show not too long ago, late at night on the IFC(Independent Film Channel), and I must say that I really enjoyed it. The whole episode revolved around five people at a dinner table discussing their lives(mainly about Hollywood). I thought the show was very funny and enlightening. If you have the IFC channel, I suggest you go see it; you will must likely enjoy it.

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6 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Good concept, but Favreau makes it unbearable.

Author: princesss_buttercup3 from United States
19 June 2008

The concept behind this show is original and interesting. Get five actors together and give them a forum to talk about their careers (and film and acting in general) in a comfortable, open forum. Can't go wrong, right? Wrong. Despite having some of the most intriguing celebrities of the last 25 years on the show, Favreau somehow manages to turn this show into a pretentious display of smoke-blowing. Sure, he's the creator, host, and moderator, but Favreau can not go for more than 30 seconds without interrupting, one-upping, and name-dropping. He even finishes people's sentences. It's so irritating that it distracts from the interesting stories and insights that his most talented guests share. Is he so insecure that he has to dominate every discussion? Or is he just some kind of control freak? Whatever his issue, he has managed in the opinion of this former fan to completely undermine his own credibility. He should take a page out of James Lipton's book. John, we know you are smart and have seen a lot of movies. We remember "Swingers". Let it go already. Give your guests a chance to shine, and this show may yet evolve into its potential.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

People at their finest - when they're eating

Author: fabfemfatale from Calgary, Canada
15 November 2002

Get 5 hungry celebrities together at a table and see what goes in and out of their mouths. That's Dinner for Five. Jon Favreau, what a host. I've seen so many different types of celebrities sit together and meet on a common ground, on this program. It just gets better the more the wine is poured. I am a big fan of anything that is independently filmed and you see people doing what we all do, EAT. Well, maybe not a lot of the actual eating is shown, but the dinner conversation is excellent. I hope this program lasts a few years.

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Guilty pleasure...

Author: barbarella70
3 December 2002

Two shows are out now that allow a viewer into the world of Hollywood culture and independent celebrity. Carrie Fisher's Conversations from the Edge and now Dinner for Five. While Ms. Fisher's host image is that of an insider who so desperately wants to be an outsider, Mr. Favreau proudly holds court and cannot wait for the games to begin. The assembled groups highlight a culture stuck somewhere between hip old school and narcissistic youth. It's almost post-Gen X, but not really. Regardless, this show serves as either a siren's call or a strong warning about being part of "the biz" depending on how you feel about an actor's life.

Cigarettes are smoked, alcohol is consumed, inhibitions are lowered and then in-jokes ricochet off one another like a pinball machine. It's amazing how twentysomethings and early thirtysomethings dishing about film and whatnot can sound just like your grandfather when he's with his war buddies.

In between bites of filet mignon and creme brulee, various Tinsletown misfits show us what their really made of; some coming off better than others, of course. Old school seems to win in the interesting department and Rod Steiger, Peter Falk, and the guy from the Sopranos whose name escapes me right now (he plays Pussy) wiped the floor with the others. Dennis Leary provided a great anecdote about Ted Demme while both Fred Willard and Kevin Pollock were very funny throughout their respective episodes. Showing her best MTV Video Music Awards host-persona and a hair flip, Sarah Silverman stamped FOOL on her forehead and will hopefully never be allowed back. Ditto puffy-eyed, high-strung chain smoker Vince Vaughn and mumbling Adam Goldberg. Almost everyone else seem just as bland as your former classmates and ex-coworkers; except these people have the added burden of being a celebrity.

All in all, it's entertaining fluff and a guilty Sunday night pleasure. If you follow the independent film business and have a good amount of insight into actors, you'll find Dinner for Five more rewarding than most.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

IFC has a gem

Author: tippy-9
17 March 2003

Favreau is the center square every week on this Hollywood non-talkshow. How refreshing to watch "them" talking like "we" do. Whatever. The show is as good as any on TV and it benefits from never appearing to try too hard. It's the best reality show on TV while never pandering for ratings or demographics. Tell your TiVo you want a season pass.

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6 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Unfortunately Jon Favreau is to self-focused

Author: nikkilaas from Santa Barbara
1 December 2002

Okay, fair enough, I saw most of the "Dinner For Five" shows on Thanksgiving 2002 when IFC broadcasted a marathon of all the previous shows, so I probably overdosed on it. But seeing all the shows in a row gives you a good possibility to compare, without being interrupted.

A few weeks before Thanksgiving I saw episode 4, and yes I was amazed by the Daryl Hannah, Marilyn Manson, Andy Dick show. Michael Rapaport was supposed to be on it, but couldn't make it. This show impressed me, it was fresh, new, and about interesting topics. It had a kind of openness to it, hardly seen in American television. Whether it was about independent film remains questionable, at least in my opinion. It was more a group of people having a dinner and talking small talk. Nothing earth shattering. Little did I know, this was episode 4 out of 8 episodes in total.

Thanksgiving's marathon however did change my view of the show. Maybe I overdosed on it, yet a good show can get away with minor errors; a bad show with any errors starts to irritate. And I must say, quite bluntly, "Dinner for Five" sucks. Mostly due to the host Jon Favreau. He doesn't let any of the guests finish their anecdotes, who without exception are more interesting than him. Only people he highly respects, like Rod Steiger, or like the Andy Dick's (who don't stop talking) have a chance. Favreau, each and every time, interrupts his guests and continues talking about his own experiences, and frankly most of his work stinks. Only "Swingers" can be considered a small jewel, all other films he so endearingly refers to, are not even considered good films, except maybe for one: "Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle". Favreau talks about them as if he was the next Scorsese or Coppola, to just name two people who really would have something to say about independent film or any hardship on the set. Besides that, it was very obvious that the conversations were staged, especially in the editing, plates with desert were handed out twice, etc.

Now why would I even bother to comment on a show that I liked, and now is a growing irritation? Well for a simple reason, I like and recognize a good idea, which this show certainly has the potential to be. Initially, if they were planning on making one or just a couple episodes, inviting most of your friends does seem natural -- but you can't keep that up for 8 shows, besides his colleagues/friends must be bored with his stories by now. Hopefully this idea will be continued again, but with a different host, Favreau should stick to do what he does best, playing in crappy films.

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5 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

Stick a sock in it, John!

Author: mattefinish2 from United States
2 July 2005

I have watched Dinner for Five since the beginning and have always enjoyed the relaxed, congenial atmosphere and collegial interplay between the guests. However, not one show has gone by without my shaking my head in disgust at Jon Favreau's egregious shoehorning in of his own experiences. His self-aggrandizing ego seems to view the show as His rightful platform to expound upon TRUTHS which He has learned. This unattractive trait only grows as he has new credits to drop. First the endless "Swingers" references, now "Elf", even projects where he was an extra! The ENDLESS self-referencing is incredibly irritating, not to mention pathetic. AND, he does this while cutting off guests - which would seem to contradict the purpose of the show!

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