- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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so much has been written about this film that I was excited to finally see it on TCM. What a disappointment! Boring! Trite! A total waste of time! Barry Levinson's other movies are so much better!
Please, Somebody Make A Sequel
The late, great Barry Levinson directed this fine two-hour tour-de-force, alternately funny, heartbreaking, intelligent, but not at all stuffy film that famously takes place in a diner...and nowhere else.This film is everyone's cup of coffee, nor does it pretend to be. But if you like a script that is so fine it reads like poetry, if you prefer actors with substance over blow-dried prettiness, this film is for you.I sure would love to find out what happened to these unforgettable characters, 25 years later.
An well-made dramady that marked the debut of Director and screenwriter, Levinson. The male cast has excellent chemistry with each other, and for the most part we feel for their pain; Barkin is excellent as Berg's wife. The Oscar-nominated story is funny with equally effective moments of drama and the period feels authentic. Not only a great coming-of-age film, but the first of Levinson's films expressing his love for Baltimore. I give it a 4.5/5.
- Oliver Cutshaw
Wonderful movie in so many ways. Funny, a little naughty, and touches of sadness. Like any good movie about the changes from youth to adulthood it is one part nostalgic, one part sarcasm, and one part hope.Very observant view of the life of Baltimore in the middle of the 20th century. The music, the Colts (yes, they played there before Indianapolis, the dances, the fashions, the movie references depict a time and a culture that in its own way is as long gone as the jazz parties of the Great Gatsby. Yet the story is still funny, fresh, and moving today. The men and women in the movie are at that moment when they have to become real adults. So unlike most coming of age movies it is a film about grappling with maturity or in the case of the Kevin Bacon character, failing to handle that challenge.Well acted, well directed. So many young stars just at the beginning of their careers. Levinson's direction is outstanding. Go to this Dinner and enjoy the menu.
- MARK J BANVILLE
Dir: Barry LevinsonStarring : Steve Guttenberg , Daniel Stern , Kevin Bacon , Mickey Rourke , Ellen Barkin , Tim Daly, Paul ReiserWidely remembered as the movie which spring-boarded Ellen Barkin, Steve Guttenberg, Kevin Bacon and Mickey Rourke to stardom, Levinson's directorial debut is a truly memorable coming of age tale and was a huge critical hit when released.It's Baltimore, Christmas 1959, and five 20-something guys are hanging out in the diner they used to frequent in their youth. Eddie (Guttenberg) is on the verge of getting married. Boogie (Rourke), the stud of the group, is a hairdresser by day and law student by night. In debt with the local bookie he comes up with some very interesting schemes to raise the money he owes. In one of the films most memorable scenes Boogie hides his manhood in a box of Popcorn!Billy (Daly), taking his masters degree in NYC, comes home to find out a woman he had slept with is now pregnant. He wants to get married but she is not interested. Alcoholic Fenwick (Bacon) coasts through life on his grandfather's trust fund. Shrevie (Stern) is married to Beth but confused and lost within the group. He has a great time with the guys but the marriage is not working out. His wife Beth (Barkin) feels trapped in the marriage and turns to her ex-hunk Boogie for support, causing rifts between the friends and within the group.Diner is most memorable for its amazing script. Snappy, funny and touching all at once, we truly grow to love this group as they are put through their individual rights of passage. For a debut film, Levinson chose a stellar cast that could not really have been bettered. It's very rare for a film to have such outstanding young talent.Rourke is perfect as the stud with his baby-faced good looks while Bacon shines as the cynical Fenwick. Ellen Barkin is great in a role which she would repeat several times during her career, revisiting characters with her sexy stare and vulnerable sultriness.