Dinner In America - Dinner In America (Blu Ray) [Arrow Video - 2021]
Dinner In America is a wonderfully edgy and often unpredictable drama-come-sly ‘n’ snidey comedy, which follows the growing romance between a punk rocker and one of his awkward 'n' geeky fans. Here from Arrow Video is a recent Blu ray release of the film, taking in a commentary and a few other extras.
Dinner In America is a 2020 film- and it was the fourth film by Adam Rehmeier, who both wrote and directed the film. His first feature-length was 2011 controversial prostitute-been-tortured-in-a-truck picture The Bunny Game. And visually I’d say Dinner In America had a rather Trainspotting like vibe with its cinematography, though it’s very much a US film though and though, in both, its tone and feel.
The film centres around edgy and doesn’t give-a fuck Simon(Kyle Gallner)-when we first meet him he’s just been kicked off a medical trial. Making his way back to the house of one of his fellow tester who has the hots for him, fairly soon he’s making out with her mother, smashing a window and setting fire to the garden. Next, we get introduced to our other lead character Patty (Emily Skeggs) who is bullied and berated by two jocks as she tries to eat her lunch. We find out this awkward girl is just into her twenties and works in a Pet shop, but when alone freaks out to speeding punk. When she’s doing the latter she takes sexualized polaroids of herself to send them of the masked singer of her favourite singer with love poems.
Simon and Patty finally meet when he’s hiding out from the cops at the back of the pet shop she works in- she takes him back home, and the pair slow-but-surely get tighter and tighter…. within time Patty finding out that Simon is the masked singer she’s been sending her pictures and poems to.
Gallner is great as the devil-may-care Simon, with his grown-out mohawk, moustached and enough punchy attitude to spark a fire. Skeggs is wonderful as the deeply awkward and geeky Patty with her greasy hair, glasses, and mix ‘n’ unmatch dress sense. The film unfolds in a wonderful unpredictable and edgy manner, with the whole been edged with moments of cringe-bound and crudely charming humour. I’d say it comes off as a less trying to be smart and more angsty/ dangerous take on something like Juno (without the baby), in it’s charting of the slowly growing romance between two awkward characters, All in all, I was pleasantly surprised and rather taken by Dinner In America, and if you enjoy more edgy drama rom-coms you also dig what happens here.
Moving onto the extras on the Blu Ray. And first off we have a commentary with director Adam Rehmeier, producers David Hunter and Ross Putnam and lead actors Kyle Gallner and Emily Skeggs. Having so many people involved with the track, this is at points feels very crowded with some many folk trying to talk, though there is some worth/ interest here- as we find out how much of the film was done on the fly. We get location talk, how it was like working with the often stale/gone off food, costume choices, music selections, scriptwriting, and more. I’d say if you did enjoy the film at least somewhat you’ll get something from the track. Next, we get two online Q & A’s- ones from Fantasia International Film Festival with Adam Rehmeier, Emily Skeggs, Kyle Gallner, Ross Putman, and cinematographer Jean-Philippe Bernier hosted by Mitch Davis- this one hour and twenty-two minutes. And the second one is from Pendance Film Festival 2021 with Adam Rehmeier, Kyle Gallner and Emily Skeggs hosted by Robert Misovic- this runs one hour and eight minutes. And lastly, we have a trailer and image gallery.
It’s certainly nice to see Arrow Video stepping away from their normal genre-focused film release, and I must say I rather enjoyed Dinner In America's fresh ‘n’ punchy take of the rom-com/ drama genre. And as always with Arrow, we get a good and interesting selection of extras too.Roger Batty