My Dinner With Andre (1981)

Louis Malle directs Wallace Shawn, Andre Gregor and Jean Lenauer in this arthouse drama where two New York theatre types have a conversation about existentialism over a sumptuous five star meal.

As pretentious as it sounds, only the first hour is pretty much Gregor barraging you with anecdotes and sidebars. It should really be “My Dreary Monologue at Wallace.” Every now again the waiter comes over to serve a course or clear a plate and looks increasingly depressed and judgemental at what he overhears. He can at least pop out for a fag on the fire escape between courses, I was stuck drifting in and out of the whole stifling, butt sniffing, word vomit. The location shots of New York, the final coda and Wallace Shawn’s face all have merits. Side note: Ordered this from Ebay and ended up unintentionally with a pirated copy of the Criterion Collection edition. The Koreans who made it have used images of the parody episode from Community on the back cover rather than the actual film.

3

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