“Dinner in America”


This film was screened at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.


“Dinner in America” is weird and oddball in all the right ways. This “Ghost World” meets “Welcome to the Dollhouse” dark comedy is so strange and wonderful that it feels like an adrenaline-fueled exercise in cinematic anarchy.

Fugitive punk rocker Simon (Kyle Gallner) is on the run again from the police after another round of arson. Fleeing the cops, he runs into eccentric pet store employee Patty (Emily Skeggs), who offers her home as a safe hiding place. It isn’t long before Simon is disrupting the dreary lives of the Midwestern suburban family, but things get really interesting once Patty discovers her new outlaw friend is the anonymous lead singer of her favorite underground band. When the duo blast off in a series of crude misadventures, they form a deeper bond and realize they are alike in so many ways.

Writer / director Adam Rehmeier‘s film is delightfully rough around the edges, and he takes bold and risky chances to create a badass original story. He doesn’t stick to a formulaic storytelling, which keeps things interesting. The absurdity never feels forced, and the chemistry between the two leads is electric. Simon and Patty make an out-of-this-world unconventional couple with a strangely symbiotic relationship, especially when they drown out the chaos of life through their love of music and life.

The film is incredibly detailed, with dozens of hysterical gags buried in the background that will reward mindful viewers. It’s very funny, ridiculously outrageous, and as quotable as it is memorable.

This punk rock love song of two misfits takes a wild ride into eccentricity, and I loved every minute of it.


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