26 February 2011

WWQTW?: Diner

Sorry for the delay. This is my review for January's WWQTW? Movie Club. I started a new job at the new year, and it's taking me a bit longer than I anticipated to get back into the groove of blogging. Oh well, better late than never!

***** (5 stars)

Last night was our first meeting of the WWQTW? Movie Club. I really thought we needed a comedy a) because we have never had one yet and b) because now was the time for some laughs. What better way to start the new year than on a high? There were lots of yummy treats including hummus, fresh fruit, chips and dip, mint pea crostini (my creations by way of Jamie Oliver), King Cake (god bless Mardi Gras season), peanut butter pie, cookies, and more wine than we knew what to do with. Needless to say, my liver and stomach where very happy, then very sad with me.

This month's movie was Barry Levinson's "Diner" about a group of twenty-somethings in Baltimore during the '50s. The movie introduced the world to the acting talents of: Mickey Rourke, Kevin Bacon, Steve Guttenberg, Paul Reiser, Daniel Stern, Ellen Barkin, and Tim Daly. That's a seriously impressive cast, many of whom hadn't really worked much before. This was also Levinson's first film. He would go on to helm "The Natural", "Good Morning, Vietnam", "Rain Man" (AA- Best Director), "Avalon" (AA nominated), "Sleepers", "Bugsy" (AA nominated), and "Wag the Dog".

Modell (Reiser):  "We all know most marriages depend on a firm grasp of football trivia."

"Diner" is an hilarious movie about becoming an adult, finding love, keeping friends, and just living life. The movie was filmed chronologically for the most part with the diner scenes filmed at the end. Levinson wanted the cast to really feel like friends and many of the best lines were ad libbed as a result. The Popcorn Scene is one of the most famous in the film and has cropped up in pop culture ever since. Rourke bets the guys he can get the dream girl to feel him up at the movies. He takes the bet mostly because he's in a bad way over some gambling losses, but it's also a pretty telling moment for her character. Once in the theater, he unbuttons his pants and puts his penis up through the bottom of the popcorn box. When his date reaches in, she gets the shock of her life and Rourke losses the bet on a technicality. So funny!

Tim (Bacon): "All I did was I parked the car on a nice lonely road, I looked at her, and I said fuck or fight."

"Diner" is one of those movies your parents love because they were living that time and feel nostalgic, but it holds up. Not just since it's release in 1982, but as a movie about the past. Everyone can identify with the problems and humor that each character faces. We all know the cocky guy, the shy guy, the sports nut, the juvenile, the married guy, the funny one, etc. Because we can identify, we fall in love with the characters easily and stay in love even though we ourselves grow up and move from one label to the next. It is a great movie (with equally great soundtrack) that should be on every one's list.

No comments:

Post a Comment