Melvin Goes to Dinner (2003)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama, Romance  |  4 December 2003 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 1,934 users  
Reviews: 38 user | 9 critic

Award-winning comedy about a lonely young man who finds himself at a restaurant with two strangers and his best friend.



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5 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Kathleen Roll ...
Jacqueline Heinze ...
BJ Porter ...
Flight Attendant (as B.J. Porter)
Child's Mom (as Jen Dollard)


Award-winning comedy about a lonely young man who finds himself at a restaurant with two strangers and his best friend.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Marital infidelity, religion, a guy in heaven wearing a Wizards jersey, anal fetishes, cigarettes and schizophrenia, ghosts, and how it's going to get worse before it gets better.


Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexuality, including sexual dialogue


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Release Date:

4 December 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Phyro-Giants  »

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Did You Know?


After they all leave the restaurant, Alex and Sarah are walking and the shadow of the camera and cameraman is visible on the wall by Alex. See more »


Joey: This belief thing kills me. It's like, all theological concepts are basically unprovable. So they invented faith. Which was genius!
See more »


Referenced in The Comedians of Comedy (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

With plenty of food for thought.
16 March 2004 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Four people, two guys and two gals, at different places in their lives, chance to meet at a restaurant for dinner one day, and end up revealing themselves and discovering each other in ways none of them could have predicted. For the most part, they are bright, young, upwardly mobile professionals, comfortable discussing themselves, and hence even without a psychologist to act as moderator, they interact in a manner reminiscent of group therapy. That is, they take turns admitting their secret thoughts and obsessions, take issue with each other on some points, and try to benefit from each other's experiences and perspectives. One of them even has some background in a field related to psychiatry, but of course with minimal insight.

The point of the film seems to be that, thanks to their group discussion, they all develop a wider perspective on life, but especially Melvin, whose life had been spiraling out of control. In some regards he seems the brighter of the four, yet the least insightful. All of the characters become more aware of themselves through their interactions over dinner, but it is Melvin who benefits the most. How he grows, and what he learns from that encounter, are what makes this film worth viewing. Thanks to his opportunity, Melvin doesn't just go out to dinner, but learns to take control of his life. It is a very subtle story, but worthy of critical attention.

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