Diner (R)

10 Stars

You gotta love a movie that holds up.

A classic movie of the highest order.

Written and directed by Barry Levinson, nominated for Best Screenplay in 1982 and set in Baltimore 1959.

I’ll try not to spoil anything, because if you like movies and haven’t seen this gem, you must catch it soon. It’s funny, poignant and has a spectacular cast.

I can’t get enough of Paul Reiser’s character, Modell. Good Golly he’s funny.

Discussing the concept of evolution, Reiser speaks one of my favorite lines, “The guy who makes up this stuff it’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard – people do not come from swamps. They come from Europe.”

This line comes from potentially the best post-movie credit sequence I’ve ever seen (or rather, heard). It’s a philosophical comedic audio layover, a bonus diner conversation; an adequate apology for the abrupt freeze-frame ending.

I love how Reiser’s constantly hassling Steve Guttenberg’s character for rides. They’re all such close friends, Reiser manages to never actually ask for the lift, he always gets The Gute to offer.

A young Mickey Rourke is almost unrecognizable in this film. And he delivers a spectacular performance.

Daniel Stern’s character is also great, now that I think about it. You know him from Home Alone. His character is such a well-meaning fella. When he argues with his wife over his records, you don’t know who to root for, and it’ll set your heart-strings aquiver.

It can get dusty at times.

Stern also has a great moment with Guttenberg, when he explains that getting married doesn’t necessarily make life any easier.

Kevin Bacon’s character is, as always, excellently executed. He is like a tightly wound spring, but worth much more than first appears.

The minor character who memorizes the lines from “Sweet Smell of Success,” cracks me up every time he interrupts a conversation.

I’m not sure if women will enjoy this film as much as men. The themes seem very masculine; they reflect the subtleties of my interactions with my male friends. I’d be interested to hear if women feel like they really connect with certain aspects of the movie.

One might say Diner is misogynistic.

I say, “Feh!”

One could argue that the pacing is slow at the beginning, but personally, I won’t do so.

The only criticism I can muster is about the moment of most tension, the pinnacle of the film’s conflict. It gets resolved in such a quick fashion it might make your head tilt.

Otherwise, this is a spectacular film.

As always, don’t expect too much, and you’ll be oh-so-sweetly rewarded.

One thought on “Diner (R)

  1. So – my three favorite Starbucks in Manhattan – at Bond and Broadway, at 17th and Union Square, at 39th and 8th – always remind me of Diner. Why is that? At first blush it seems these types of hangouts are quite different. Of course, they are. I’ll confess that when I’m in one of these places I’m not, like the ensemble six of Diner, debating the relative merits of Mathis vs. Sinatra or engaging in braggadocio about how I can get a girl to grab my pecker on our first date – but I certainly see groups of young men who are the 2014 versions of these guys.

    Liked by 1 person

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