Dinner Rush

"OK"

Dinner Rush Review


I will say one thing about Bob Giraldi -- he knows how to capture the chaos and motion of a busy restaurant. For that reason, Dinner Rush, which is set at Giraldi's very own TriBeCa eatery, is wonderful. Pasta twirls poetically in pans, waiters and waitresses bolt toward one another like runaway trains, and the kitchen rattles with activity and the clanging of plates. He gets us caught in the atmosphere.

However, despite the effort Giraldi puts in, the movie comes up short. You keep waiting for that one scene or piece of dialogue that will get things going, and it never comes. We get an appetizer, but the main course never arrives.

Danny Aiello stars as restaurant owner and bookie Louis Cropa, who's surrounded by chaos on a memorable weekday night. His friend has been killed by two rival bookies (known as "Black and Blue"), who are now in his restaurant and would like a piece of it. Meanwhile, Cropa's son, Udo (Edoardo Ballerini), wants more control in the legal family business. After all, it's his cooking that's bringing in the crowds and the critical raves. Talented but troubled chef Duncan (Kirk Acevedo of HBO's Oz) owes thousands of dollars to the aforementioned colorful bookies, and he's sleeping around with the hot hostess (Vivian Wu). By the way, Udo is also seeing Duncan's paramour. And, uh oh, the food critic in New York has just stopped by!

While he's a music video director whose last feature was Hiding Out back in 1987, I don't think Giraldi is the problem. The trouble comes from Rick Shaughnessy and Brian S. Kalata's undernourished script. A love triangle? Greedy bookies? A lovable loser who has a gambling problem? Turn on your television and see if you can't find all three conflicts on some station in the next five minutes. These plot vignettes (and there are more) prevent the movie from having a reliable and riveting center and dampen the movie's brisk energy.

The predicaments could have been interesting, but the dialogue doesn't snap like another great restaurant movie, Frankie and Johnny (the last Garry Marshall movie I'll watch without a loaded gun put to my head). Dinner Rush shows its potential when the supporting staff gets its gossipy screen time -- the Indian maitre d', the nose ring-wearing waitress, the black waiter. But the writers blow a golden opportunity by offering mere glimpses at these people, except for an uninteresting segment where a waitress (Summer Phoenix) deals with a pretentious group of art lovers.

There are other problems. The movie's violent opening is wrong, as it sets us up for a completely different film that doesn't come around until the end. It's jarring. And there are utterly pointless characters, especially Sandra Bernhard's food critic. She isn't funny. She isn't charming. She adds nothing to the movie. Why is she here?

When all is done, Dinner Rush simply doesn't provide enough nourishment. I was starving when I left the theater, not just for what Giraldi could have done with a great script, but also for the dishes prepared by Udo and Duncan.

Beer: it's what's for dinner.



Dinner Rush

Facts and Figures

Run time: 99 mins

In Theaters: Friday 29th March 2002

Distributed by: Access Motion Picture Group

Production compaines: Access Motion Picture Group, Giraldi-Suarez-DiGiaimo Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%
Fresh: 40 Rotten: 4

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Louis Cropa, as Gary Lieberman, Frank Bongiorno as Enrico Coventie, Lexie Sperduto as Lucy Clemente, Zainab Jah as Adrian, Alex Corrado as Paolo, as Carmen, Walt McPherson as Detective Drury, as Natalie Clemente

Contactmusic


Links


Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.