Friday, April 1, 2011

April Fools Day Blogathon: My Dinner With Andre

These next two are basically a two-parter for last week's Community. Community is an odd show, in a good way, it's not always laugh out loud funny, but I like the way it pushed the envelope of what can and can't be done on a sitcom that exists on a big, cable network. But I do like it a lot. Last week was the Pulp Fiction episode of Community that NBC had been touting for weeks, with ads revolving around the cast dressing up as the characters in Pulp Fiction for their pop-culture obsessed friend, Abed's surprise birthday party. I thought that was cool enough, but what I really enjoyed, and what Community does so well is that they totally subverted people's expectations. Here you expected an extended riff on Pulp Fiction and/or Tarantino movies. But we got instead, outside of some Pulp Fiction-related gags, was a homage to My Dinner With Andre.  I think the episode worked for many people, but this seemed like an amazing Valentine to cinephiles such as Tarantino instead of it just being ABOUT Tarantino, if that makes sense.

If you aren't familiar with My Dinner With Andre, it is the 1981 Louis Malle movie featuring only Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory. The whole movie consists of a dinner conversation between two friends who haven't seen eachother in a long time. That's it. And it is actually pretty fascinating if you ever happen to come across it.

I love this movie poster. I would snatch it up in a second if I came across it.

Community obviously made me think of My Dinner With Andre which, weirdly,-actually, I was going to say it made me think of Roger Ebert. I thought I first heard about My Dinner With Andre through his books, but I realize I heard if it before then. Fascinating, no? When we got our first VCR from my Uncle who owned a Montgomery Ward store, we had three movies with it, Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and, for some reason, My Dinner With Andre. Or maybe my Dad just rented it early on. That's when I first heard of it. But it was years before I actually saw it, probably some time in high school, going through my pretension film/cinephilia phase, but this movie was actually really good. (Sorry, Roger. I'll write more about your influence some day)



  1. "Community" is a freaking great show. I'm glad I got back on board with this show this season. I started watching it last year and didn't really like it much and stopped watching after a few episodes. A friend of mine later told me how great it was and I decided to give it a chance this year and I'm so glad I did. I agree, it's not always a laugh-out-loud hysterical-type comedy, but the characters, writing, and unique plot lines all mesh well together and it's crazy how much they get done in 22 minutes.

    And this has also piqued my interest in "My Dinner with Andre". I'll have to check it out.


  2. Me, Patty, and you should do a "MY DInner With Andre" remake with ourselves in the lead roles.

    Box Office Gold.