I was so wrong. In cases like this, I like to be wrong.
“Dinner in America,” was written, directed, and edited by Adam Rehmer, is a film with an anti-establishment anti-social quicksilver flowing in its roots, but in his heart it’s a sweet love story, one of the sweetest of recent memory. Sometimes a movie comes along and you’re surprised. Sometimes a movie can make a bad first impression but on closer examination you realize that there is more to it than meets the eye. (I’ve always admired Roger Ebert’s transparent review of “The King of Comedy“because this is about how he struggled with the film, and resisted it, but came back to it, hoping to see it in a deeper way). Allen Ginsberg, “First thought” doesn’t always have to be “best thought.” At the end of “Dinner in America,” I watched my first resistance with a slight sense of awe.
Simon (Kyle Galler) is the aforementioned “pyro,” a drifter and bad-boy. He’s the worst nightmare in Middle America, as the opening sequence shows. He had no respect for anything or anyone. “Blue Velvet“depicts the beautiful exterior of the suburbia. All the flowers and sprinklers and a completely blue sky.” The American Dinner “sees no beauty in any of it. There is a scenery. where Simon is running through a vacant lot, all cracked concrete with weeds bursting., while in the background can be seen a giant glass office building. The difference is obvious, and so much so. Burn it. all.
After she goes through a random family, she meets 20-year-old college dropout Patty (Emily Skeggs), which we have already seen at home with her horrible parents (Pat Healy and Mary Lynn Rajskub), who treats her like she’s a tween. Patty works in a pet store, and suffers constant harassment from two men wearing track suits, who ridicule her with sexual insults, and repeatedly call her a “retard. . ” (The language is a bit rude throughout, and a bit heavy handed.) Patty is awkward, lonely, and in a state of arrested development. He secretly fell in love with punk rock band Psy Ops, and he called the lead singer, a mysterious man named “John Q. Public,” his “musical boyfriend.” Patty has never had a boyfriend, music or anything.