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Melvin Goes to Dinner

3.7 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Melvin is a lonely man who lives in his office spending his time smoking pot, watching porn, and having sex with a girlfriend his family doesn't approve of. When a speed-dial mishap lands Melvin at dinner with three almost strangers, Melvin spends an enl

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Fred Armisen, Feridoon Asiani, Michael Blieden, Stephanie Courtney, David Cross (II)
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Sundance Channel Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 1, 2005
  • Run Time: 83 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00080ZGX8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,915 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Melvin Goes to Dinner" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Although I have not yet purchased the DVD, I was fortunate enough to see this film recently at the Deep Ellum Film festival in Dallas.
For me, it's a "must see." There are few films of this type which will hold your attention as well. In addition to fine acting, the camera work is extraordinary, and the editing makes you feel as though you were one of the group, able to shift your attention at will.
The characters are interesting and well developed, and the script moves along effortlessly. Before you know it, the 90 minutes have flown by, and you're ready to buy the next bottle of wine. Suddenly you're tempted to take these four characters back to your place for an all-nighter.
If you want to eavesdrop on good conversation that has some interesting twists, sit down at this table. You won't regret it.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I have to watch a lot of different types of films for business purposes. And yes, I'm "old" and am used to films and stageplays having more structure than most do today, but with the new cheap indies and mumblecores, I'm almost afraid to watch anything anymore. What a relief that Melvin Goes to Dinner was better than most.

The cast is solid and everybody stayed in character. There were a few glaring mistakes, but they're forgivable. I had to stay focused because there are no balances in the film, but the non-stop chatter was actually fun. For one viewing.

There's not much of a story here and Sundance, I'm sure, would have been the only festival to even acknowledge that this film existed, but it's better than most of its genre.
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Format: DVD
A friend of mine and I sat down to watch this film about four people in a really, really great dinner conversation, and, within five minutes of listening to the characters wax theories on religion and sex, I was saying to her, "Wow, we've had that conversation before."
And from that moment and for that reason, we found MELVIN GOES TO DINNER fascinating. As the film went on, though, and we got to know the characters better, we got wrapped up in the real and imagined ties between the characters. We tried to figure out how they all knew each other, really, and the film surprised us with several plot twists that we didn't see coming.
Adapted from a stage play using essentially the same principal cast, MELVIN GOES TO DINNER is a surprising find, one that I'm going to purchase so that I can watch it over and over. It's watchable for its plot and for its use of quality conversation.
I highly recommend this.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Let's dispense with any unfair comparisons to "My Dinner With Andre" right from the start. Of course it's not that wonderful film! But that's not a bad thing, because while "Melvin Goes to Dinner" utilizes the same basic format, it quickly goes in its own direction. The characters are smart, witty, not uncommon people -- we know them, or people very much like them -- and their emerging problems are more immediate. If their existential questions aren't quite so Olympian in stature, they're still pressing & painful & eventually cut quite closely to the bone.

Add to that the humor of the conversation, the sense of going out on increasingly fragile limbs, and you've got an offbeat film that's both intelligent & marvelously entertaining. Even better, it'll get you thinking, and might even lead to some fruitful conversations of your own. The DVD also includes some enjoyable extras & commentary tracks, making this a film worth owning & watching more than once. It does have some rough edges, both because of a limited budget & the fact that it's a first effort for the filmmakers; but don't let that stop you from giving it a try. Recommended!
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Thought it was getting boring, then the psychodrama emerged. Reviewing this, can't decide if it's serious or a comedy. The comedic aspect was the extreme of their self-revelations over dinner. I almost anticipated the plot twist. Off-beat film that sticks with you. David Cross was masterful in a cameo which may have been the only deliberately comedic episode. I'm a rabid Odenkirk fan, so was very curious to see results of his film direction. Left me baffled, but haunted by these characters.
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By A Customer on December 21, 2003
Format: DVD
After watching this movie I wanted to go out and make more interesting friends. TV producers should take a lesson from this film - I would love to see a series with characters as fun to follow as those in Melvin Goes to Dinner. The extra film on the DVD about their trip to film festivals is so funny I laugh just thinking about it.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Very surprising film. If you like these types of films (cerebral) and are interested how the human condition is sometimes portrayed, then you will like this film. If you don't like conversations then stay away!
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By Cosmoetica on September 14, 2008
Format: DVD
On the down side is the fact that the 2003 film Melvin Goes To Dinner, directed by first timer Bob Odenkirk, is a watered down yuppy version of the great 1981 Louis Malle film My Dinner With Andre. On the up side is that if you are going to imitate something, at least choose something great, for the imitation, while not great, is likely to be good, which My Dinner With Melvin is. It was written by actor/playwright Michael Blieden, adapted from his play Phyro-Giants, and had a no name cast, as opposed to 2001's similarly themed HBO film Dinner With Friends, which starred Dennis Quaid, Toni Collette, Andie McDowell, and Greg Kinnear.... the film really does chicken out of putting its characters in emotional deep water. Yes, admissions of fetishes and infidelities can titillate, but given that this was filmed only a year and a half after 9/11 you'd think there might be a touch of political dischord thrown in. They argue a bit over religion, but no character seems willing to really stand up for anything. They are all, in that sense, preening wimps.
Still, I only wish there were deeper characters. Whereas Shawn and Gregory discourse on life and determinism, the four yuppies talk of things like ghosts with all the depth that a post-Angels In America America can muster, and then are amazed at each others' supposed depth, and how stimulating their conversation is. And when I reference Angels In America it's not a mere throwaway diss. There's a reason for the connection. Call it Post-Intellectualism. Call it, `Show, don't tell.' Call it a nice try that settles for copouts. There are too many synchronicities and pallid contrivances that line up to get these four people together in the first place, and then reveal so much about themselves.
Read more ›
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