My Dinner With Andre | Chicago Reader

My Dinner With Andre

Rated PG 111 minutes 2013

Like many of Louis Malle's films, this two-character drama (1981) comes on as something very chancy and avant-garde and ends in banality and smugness. It's safe, reassuring radicalism. Working from their cowritten script, and playing, roughly, themselves, Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory have moments of wit, charm, and compelling intensity as they discuss their lives over a long dinner. The showy egotism is fun for a while, but just as the monotony of the crosscutting begins to feel oppressive, it becomes clear that the film is on cuddly Wally's side, making an underhanded pitch for the "simple pleasures" of middle-class comfort and minimal reflection.

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