Not Just Another Grouchy Grammarian

Musings about language, books, grammar, and writing in general

Film Review: My Dinner with Andre

I was listening to an old interview with Cary Elwes this morning, and he mentioned that actor Wallace Shawn is a Fulbright scholar. He also noted that Shawn co-wrote <i>My Dinner with Andre</i>, which was released in 1981. The critics loved the film, and at one point almost every art theater was showing it.

After reading of Shawn’s involvement with the film, I decided to look it up and watch it. I found it on YouTube as a $2.99 rental, so I grabbed it. I am very glad I did not pay full price to see it in the cinema.

Set in a room designed to look like NYC’s Cafe des Artistes, it features Shawn and Andre Gregory playing fictionalized versions of themselves. Sadly, the decor is not the problem; the dinner conversation is. It is incredibly self-indulgent, which fits in with the personalities on display. Now I like a good, intellectual conversation, with both parties exploring ideas as much as anyone This conversation was not that. It was mostly Gregory oversharing about the various workshops and spiritual quests he’d been o for the last few years.

All I can really say about this film is that unless you enjoy two males indulging in what might rightfully be called massive over-sharing, you’d do better to ignore <i>My Dinner with Andre</i> entirely and spend your time and money more wisely.

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