Donald B. Hightower | Houston, TX USA | 06/19/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I loved the original play that the film was based on. I found it to be a wonderfully intelligent exploration of monogamy and marriage that put other like plays and films to shame. The movie does the play justice (although the play is still better). Be warned, this is a VERY "talky" piece. Not necessarily much plot action. It is mainly people sitting around talking about what is important to them. I LOVE THAT. If its not your bag -- you were warned.Casting is just short of great. I can't remember her name, but the blonde is very good, as is Greg Kinnear as the couple who split up. Nice work all around. ... Andie MacDowell ... takes what is a very interesting character and does her usual walk around and whine while looking pretty routine. Awful awful awful. However, this is surprisingly made up for by one of the gutsiest casting choices I've seen in awhile with Dennis Quaid. Anyone who thinks Quaid can't act should see this film. This character is VERY unlike anything he's done before -- much more feminine quality than we've seen before, while remaining strong and overtly masculine. He's articulate and sensitive ....AND HE COOKS FOR A LIVING!!! Anyway, can't go into it all here, but its the best thing he's ever done with the possible exception of THE RIGHT STUFF.The final scene, as with the play, is one of the most important scenes I've watched in a long time. Andie MacDowell even works. Its the most delicately beautiful exploration of love and marriage I've ever seen. Want to spend a "thinky" evening? Watch this with some friends and then have dinner. My wife and I still talk about this film and what it means.But watch this film. Its truly outstanding. I'd give it 5 stars except for Andie MacDowell and slightly watering down the play's original script."
Good dialogue movie with good dialogue!
Kevin Currie-Knight | Newark, Delaware | 03/20/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"As an accidental rule, I love movies with 6 characters or less; the ones stripped down so that each characters personality can come through in a way that can not be enhanced by effects, special settings or other frills. I've watched this movie twice now and I can already say that I've picked up on several of the many, I'm sure, nuances here. Four characters, two mairrages, one divorce and each is remarkably done. I especially appreciate that none of the characters (even Kinnear's adulterous character, which he seems typecast for now) is presented as flawed, spirited and in a way, noble. Gabe (Dennis Quaid) is heartbreaking as he has taken back-seat in a mairrage to a strong woman (McDowell) who, while wanting, nay demanding, her husband talk to her more, always manages to tell him how stupid the things he says are. Also the contrast between the pairs is phenomenal. Tom is the confident divorcee, Gabe is the soft-spoken married one. Beth is the free-thinking, and maybee too free-thinking, now single, artist, and Karen is the organized and 'moralistic' married woman, trying all-too-hard too hold a friendship between the four together. Whether you are 21 or 71, married or single, male (well...maybe) or female (for my part, I am a 26 year old, happily single, male), parts of this film will speak to us all. Whether it's Tom's frank talks with Gabe about his wife's refusal for even basic physical contact, Gabe's rebuttal about the joys of mairrage and growing old with a sweetheart, Karen's dream about "the two us's" or Beth's attempts to remain aloof and free from it all. You may laugh, you'll certainly cry, you'll probably scatch your head, you'll pick a character to hate and find out you werer wrong, and you'll pick a character to love and find out you were right."
mystic80 | Massachusetts | 11/30/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Synopsis: A happily married couple with two sons and great jobs learn some shocking news, that their fellow best friends and spouses, are separating. What ensues is a look at the strength of their marriage, in comparison to the one that is disintegrating before everyone's eyes.Review: A friend and I had a conversation about the state of Hollywood movies today. That for every Swordfish and The Grinch remake (an obnoxious film at that), a small film like Sexy Beast or another will go virtually unnoticed by the likes of big Hollywood business. In today's profit driven society, smart films are finding their home on cable. In "Dinner With Friends", this drama is riveting, not for any kind of suspense, but for a study of what people really are, and what they do in life. Adapted from a stage play, the words seem real right down to the very last word. As the film's writer and director bring the film's situations to your own judgment, as to who these people are and what they can be like. It's a character study that doesn't exploit people, and it lets their actions speak for themselves. Overall, a good film."
Humor Collector | 11/23/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This movie amazed me. After the credits rolled, I sat there thinking that I should probably just start it back up and watch it again. What a surprising, detailed portrayal of self-deception. The way we can live with lies and not realize it at all. And manipulate others so that they reinforce those ways we are deceiving ourselves. Whew. Great acting from all four. Great story."
Wonderful Dialogue -- Good Drama
Humor Collector | 01/30/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Even though the title may not sound too appealing, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the acting and the written dialogue in this movie. Dennis Quaid and Andie McDowell play this married couple who are shocked by the news of the divorce of two of their best friends. The news of the divorce really tests the friendship between the two couples and cause the married couples to think about what commitment is all about.I liked this movie because the dialogue was very realistic and the movie made me think about what commitment in marriage and friendship is all about. It is an excellent and thought-provoking movie to watch and discuss. If you like movies that deal with important issues about relationships, you'd definitely like this one! I highly recommend it!"