The Dinner Date (2011) – By Sharon Martin

The Dinner Date is a romantic comedy directed by by Winfield Edson and released by Rebelligan Films.

The first thing I want to mention before we even get to the film, is that I absolutely loved the artwork used during the opening credits, and even the main menu of the disc has a really awesome look to it. I really love seeing this kind of effort being made to present the viewer with something cool before the film even starts. But what about the film itself? Well…

The first scene introduces us to Maggie, who has just had another boyfriend break up with her after their long relationship finally went sour. Naturally, she’s very upset, and heads on over to her best friend Eve’s apartment for some comforting.

Next we move on to Charles. We find him sitting on a bench, holding some flowers. He’s been waiting for hours for yet another date that never showed up. Someone else who’s not having much luck with romance it seems.

Maggie shows up at Eve’s apartment as Charles is calling Eve to tell her that he’s been stood up once again. It’s at this point that Eve decides it’s time to get her two romantically crippled friends together. It’s not going to be an easy task though, because Maggie (who has an involved set of rules for guys she can’t date – and keeps adding to them every time a relationship ends) and Charles (a dorky university professor, who collects antique toy soldiers and can’t tell a joke to save his life) are not interested in being set up. Eve’s boyfriend, Steve, who happens to dislike both Charles and Maggie, thinks this whole matchmaking thing is a bad idea and tries to talk Eve out of it. Undaunted, and convinced that Maggie and Charles are meant for each other, she plans a dinner – inviting both Charles and Maggie without telling either of them that the other would be there. Maggie gets suspicious when Charles shows up, but Eve has a plan for that as well.

Will Eve be able to get her two friends together in the end, or will her matchmaking all come to naught? You’ll have to watch the film to find out.

The whole dinner scene is really quite funny. Different faults of Charles and Maggie keep coming up in the conversation, but they also discover a lot of things they have in common. Things are going pretty well until Maggie discovers that the guy sitting across from her, who Eve told her was a guy named Sam because Maggie was so adamant about not wanting to meet Charles, is actually Charles after all. That’s when things really go south and Maggie gets angry and leaves.

Eve and Steve are also having relationship problems of their own, but the main focus of the film really stays Charles and Maggie.

I enjoyed The Dinner Date. It was very sweet, fun, Sunday afternoon movie. Charles, Maggie and Eve are likeable. I didn’t care much for Steve, but I think his character was supposed to come off as a little mean and unlikable, so he actually played it quite well. I’m not a big fan of typical cheesy chick flicks, which is why this one was a breath of fresh air. It manages to be quite funny without resorting to the same old romantic comedy jokes or that same, stale old formula that you find in most romantic comedies. You know how it goes. Two people meet, they fall in love, something happens that either causes them to break up, or threatens to break them up, they make up, get back together and live happily ever after. How many times have you seen romantic comedies that followed that exact plot scheme? I know…me too.

Something else that is really important to me personally, since I’m a little hard of hearing, is the quality of the sound and having a subtitles option. I usually watch movies with the subtitles on, when available, so I can understand the dialogue better. The Dinner Date does not include subtitles, but the sound was recorded very well throughout the film and I had no problem understanding any of it, even with the accents that I am not used to hearing on a daily basis.

Another thing that I really liked was the length of the movie. It managed to tell the story without dragging things out for the sake of stretching out its running time. The viewer gets a lot of the details from the plot and the dialogue, but the physical interaction between the characters is also very important. There’s nothing more annoying than watching a film and feeling like you are being spoon-fed everything. It’s so much more engaging when the viewer can pick up vibes from the characters as they interact with each other and really get a clear understanding of what they’re feeling, what their motivations are, etc….

The production quality of this film is excellent. Most of the scenes are shot indoors and the picture and lighting are really good. The scenes that are shot outside also came out great, and are not affected by street noises, bright lights, etc…. There’s nothing more annoying than watching a film with poor sound recording where the street noise is walking all over what the characters are trying to say. This film didn’t have any problems with that at all.

The music used in the film really fits the whole feel of the story, and is not too loud. Again, as with the street noise, mixing the music in a film in so loud that it walks over the dialogue is a big no no. The music here was mixed in perfectly and didn’t walk over the dialogue at all.

The Dinner Date is not your typical chick flick. It’s a film that can be enjoyed by guys as well, and I think that anyone with a heart and a sense of humor would really enjoy it.

If you’d like to find out more about this film, you can check out it’s website at http://www.thedinnerdatemovie.com.