Dinner in America – Film Review
Director – Adam Rehmeier
Writer – Adam Rehmeier
Stars – Kyle Gallner, Yancey Fuqua, Jennifer Kincer
By day, Patty (Emily Skeggs) works at her local pet store cleaning out the cages. By night, she dreams of the singer from her favourite punk band, sending him love poetry and photos of her private parts! Simon or John Q (Kyle Gallner) is a young man on the wrong side of the law, with a strong inclination for burning things. When they met, it’s a recipe for disaster!
This film follows a long tradition of teen dramas/ comedies such as Heathers, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and many more, but it is quite distinct due to its punk credentials. The protagonists are also a little older than those previously mentioned and high school is not the setting for the events. From the opening sequences, you know that John Q is Trouble with a capital T and he’s going to push Patty out of her comfort zone. It’s an unlikely love story but the style and humour really capture the audience and you are swept along.
Emily Skeggs is excellent as the slightly bewildered and not exceptionally bright Patty. Emily has a history on Broadway, having been nominated for a Tony for her appearance in Fun Home. Kyle Gallner may be known to some as Cassidy “Beaver” Casablancas from Veronica Mars. His performance as Simon/ John Q is intense and powerful, grabbing the camera lens at every opportunity. The collection of minor characters are all well worked, including standard-issue jocks, family and band members. This is a work by Adam Rehmeier, and there is very little in his past history to make you suspect he is capable of a work such as this. His previous efforts include a variety of minor releases but this work marks him out as one to watch. It’s easily destined to be a cult classic and for fans of teen dramedies, it’s a must-see.