The Dinner - A Film That Hates the Audience
 
I like to watch random movies that seem interesting. I think that I get to open entire new possibilities and find movies I wouldn't usually watch if I didn't go random. Hell, I like to put on youtube and let it play for 24 hours in hopes of finding something new. This mostly leads to a lot of Nostalgia Critic videos but sometimes I end up watching a new channel with really fun people (and sometimes I get Trump idiots). 

The Dinner is an example as to why I probably shouldn't do that. Five minutes into watching the movie I am yelling fuck you at it. And then I'm googling reviews to make certain that it doesn't get better because seriously, fuck you movie. I'm relieved to see that many found it shitty, but I'm still watching it because some found value. But I'm hitting the chapter skip. 

First scene is in a teenage party. THERE ARE NO LIGHTS. Or there are only candle lights because teenagers who drink from Red Solo Cups want them to look gray in the dim lighting. And oh yeah, there are guys who are playing video games and random chatter and NO LIGHTS. I wasn't invited to many parties as a teenager (hence, I had an inflated viewpoint of how much debauchery went on) but they ALL HAD LIGHTING. Ok, there was a frat party where the lights were more mood lighting but that was a dance party and it was trying to make it look like a night club.

But a regular party. Turn on the fucking lights. 

But it gets better. Steve Coogan is playing a dramatic part as a misanthrope which means that he's playing a character like most of his characters but happily you don't have to feel bad for not laughing. His voice over monologue is about the way that the Romans were cool but once we hit the middle ages, fuck you society. And this is supposed to be deep and character building but really, it's just the kind of dialogue people expect professors to say because they know all about these smart things. But they are really just dumb and they aren't better than you damnit. They aren't! 

A friend from college (David Hlavac) recently blocked me on Facebook after ranting about how I'm a wannabe intellectual, wannabe Jew (he knew me when I was converting), and a bunch of other stuff but mostly his point (bolstered by another ex-FB friend who unfriended me when I called Libertarians spoiled babies) was that I ONLY THOUGHT that I was smart, but really I'm dumb. And he's NOT STUPID. No David Hlavac is the smart one, won't someone recognize David Hlavac as a SMART guy already, it's not enough that he's rich and got to use all of his daddy's money and connections to leverage into a D.C. public relations firm only to get to start his own failing PR firm out of Edina. NO. David Hlavac has to stop feeling so dumb all the time when he says stupid shit like blaming Identity Politics for Joe Kennedy not getting the love that he deserved.

Perhaps David Hlavac decided that mediocre white dudes with privilege needed to stand together. Anyhow that's why he wanted to block me, but he finally blocked me when I tried to tell him that Sensitivity Readers were NOT fascism in action or liberal censorship but people hired by the publishing company to make certain that they can make as much money as possible. 

Seriously people, look up Sensitivity Readers and don't be like David Hlavac of Belletrist Communications (a PR firm no less) who can't even be bothered to consider that just maybe a guy who writes for a living, actually knows people in publishing, owns a publishing house and has been paying attention to these debates over cultural appropriation, representation, etc. JUST MIGHT know a little more about publishing and sensitivity readers than a privilege boring white dude who lives in Edina. 

I'm a little bitter.

But seriously, David Hlavac who freaked out at the notion of sensitivity writers because "art is not a safe space" and then agreed with another moron friend that this is just like Korean death camps, was in such a lather at this notion that when I pointed out an alternate interpretation to his freak out, he blocked me and bitched about me. So David Hlavac was so SENSITIVE about the notion of sensitivity readers that he squealed in Hlavac defensiveness and blocked me.

Oh where was I. Oh yeah Steve Coogan is playing an asshole, the kind of asshole that morons like David Hlavac think make up the bulk of academia. And then he wanders around a dark house - because NO ONE HAS ANY LIGHTS. ANd then finally they go to dinner and Richard Gere and Rebecca Hall are the other parents. ANd the restaurant is dark.

There's a running joke about the waiter presenting the food and being told to fuck off.

But mostly this is Richard Gere saying that they are going to get down to business but they never do.

Oh and their kids burned up a homeless woman together.

So we are supposed to spend two hours with assholes who are already toxic assholes (ok Richard Gere and Laura Linney are fine - even though Linney needs to pick better material. Seriously, The C Word was set in Minnesota in order to put a lampshade on the fact that they only hired a couple of token black actors. There are black people in Minnesota. David Hlavac might live in the whitest part of the state but he still has no excuse for dismissing so-called "identity politics" as some liberal plot). 

And then Steve Coogan goes to Richard Gere's house and tries to beat in the other son with a rock.

The movie ends with everyone shouting for the other son until he just calls them. Like Coogan didn't even kill his nephew (he and Richard Gere are supposed to be brothers - Coogan's British accent is never remarked upon) which would have been mildly interesting, but is still crap.

Also there are flashbacks like when Coogan starts yelling at his high school class. That establishes that he's mentally ill. And then we get that "hey I'm not longer on my meds because I want to be MYSELF" scene.

Granted it's not as dangerous as Garden State where getting a Manic Pixie Dream Girlfriend is all you need, but it's still fucking awful. Granted, Coogan does try to kill his nephew so one could argue that the movie is not against medication per se. 

Anyhow this is an ugly movie full of ugly people and even though I watched 20 minutes total (I really leaned heavy on that chapter skip), the thing filled me with such loathing I don't know if I can watch anything with the actors again for a long time. (I used to like Steve Coogan too).


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