DINER [1982] movie review

July 19, 2013 · Print This Article

They were talking about DINER [1982] on the Dan Patrick Show sports podcast this week, which motivated me to seek out the movie and see if it really might have been a Seinfeld influence. I could definitely see how the dialogue and banter of a group of friends hanging out in a diner in this 1982 movie could seem like a preview for the Seinfeld show ten years later. Much like that show, DINER is really a movie about nothing, just old friends in their early 20s hanging out night after night messing around.

I thought of how the current generation, the Millennials, is being criticized for doing nothing, just wasting their lives living at home with their parents, but as depicted in DINER kids in 1959 could have been ripped for the same thing, or at least the 6 guys in the story. The cast though they may not look immediately familiar, are mostly all familiar names to this day: Kevin Bacon, Mickey Rourke (almost unrecognizable), Steve Guttenberg, Paul Reiser. It is also the directorial debut of Barry Levinson.

This is not a movie that makes men look good, at all, especially in how they perceive and value women, as in, there seems to be no need for women at all except for an occasional “pop.” Only one character, Billy, seems to sincerely enjoy the company of the girl he is sweet on, and she wants only to be friends despite her possibly being pregnant.

What story there is revolves very loosely on Guttenberg’s character getting married. Why in the world is he doing it, even he cannot answer. In fact he is making his fiance pass a super hard NFL trivia contest, and if she fails, the wedding is off! What woman would agree to that??

The movie is mostly a downer, though I guess it ends in a slight upbeat nature. I did not know it would be set in 1959 either, I was expecting an 80s timeline, so it took some adjusting, but then the downer nature of the movie overall made the few funny lines hard to laugh at. DINER is the kind of movie I am kind of glad I watched, but I would never want to watch it again.

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