7.1/10
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38 user 9 critic

Melvin Goes to Dinner (2003)

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

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

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

Taglines:

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.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and sexuality, including sexual dialogue
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4 December 2003 (USA)  »

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Phyro-Giants  »

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Did You Know?

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Joey: That is the most undignified thing I've ever heard of. I mean, this guy is the laughing stock of heaven right now!
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Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
Well, "My Dinner With Andre" It's Not

Michael Blieden wrote the play on which "Melvin Goes to Dinner" is based and he also authored the screenplay. He's Melvin, an apparent early dropout from psychiatry working for his sister in some municipal planning department. He plans on dinner with his old friend, Joey (Matt Rice) and their pal, Alex (Stephanie Courtney). With flashbacks, we learn that Alex ran into her business school classmate whom she hasn't seen for seven years, Sarah (Annabelle Gurwitch) and invited her to join the trio for dinner.

What follows is a typical casual, restaurant get-together among friends in their thirties who engage in random and rapidly shifting chatter. The usual topics prevail: friendship, work, the ticking of a woman's biological clock, reincarnation, anal sex, cheating on lovers - the list goes on. They have a waitress, unnamed (Kathleen Roll), who's predictably ditzy.

It's all been done before but there is a surprise here near the end, a big one. And the quartet is engaged in some probing but fleeting talk about life issues that matter to most viewers, especially younger ones. The cast is largely inexperienced-only one, Ms. Gurwitch, has any real list of credits.

One really neat episode: recounting his experiences as a staff shrink (and improbably wearing not only surgical garb but a face mask around his throat), Melvin interviews a purportedly schizophrenic patient played, without a credit, by Jack Black. Black's nutcase actually espouses one of the most lucid and convincing views of the nature of life I've ever seen on the screen. He doesn't belong on a psych ward. It really got me thinking.

"Melvin Goes to Dinner" is neither as terrific as some claim nor as bad as others feel. If, like me, you are a restaurant voyeur who compulsively listens in on conversations emanating from other tables, you'll feel at home here and particularly enjoy following the whole interchange without being distracted by talking with your friends or having to deal with wait staff.

7/10


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