Roger Dodger (2002)
Critic Consensus: The movie could have benefited from a more experienced director, but a great cast and script overcome any first time jitters the director may have had.
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Critic Reviews for Roger Dodger
A fascinating, uneven first feature from the young writer-director Dylan Kidd.
We journey from appreciating Roger as the ideal over-drinks conversationalist to someone we would cross the street to avoid.
Scott's hilariously hateful hauteur is able to counteract some falsely fuzzy notes in the ending.
Some have condemned this film for 'filthy content.' That's like condemning a hospital for being a place of disease. Kidd deals with 'filth' the way a surgeon treats a tumor.
Audience Reviews for Roger Dodger
Gotta love high-functioning sociopaths like HIMYM's Barney Stinson and Campbell Scott's titular Roger in this dark, delicious gem. Roger's tried-and-true tricks aren't just cheesy pick-ups, but carefully honed skills that show off the Darwinningest male. Jesse Eisenberg, in his first film role, is sweet and endearing with a hint of rebellion, and the brief roles of 80s-90s dream queens, Elizabeth Berkley and Jennifer Beals, make for a bittersweet sex education. It was so bittersweet that I wished something would happen for Nick and Sophie at the end - not necessarily sex but just SOMETHING instead of Uncle Dad once again aiding and abetting a lame flirtation with high school queen bee whom the audience hasn't gotten the chance to know and fall in love with yet.
A fast-paced, dialogue-driven, well-constructed little film about the immorality of our times, specifically playboy Roger (Campbell Scott) and how he decides to give his 16-year old nephew (Jesse Eisenberg) in town a crash course in how to get laid after his nephew asks for his help. It is at times a little unbelievable, but still irrefutably fascinating despite its shortcomings and uneven pacing. This is mostly due to Scott's powerhouse performance as a man stripped of any conceivable morals, which serves as a fascinating though depressing study of sex and its agonizing grip on some individuals lives. Eisenberg is also fantastic playing the insecure, virgin character he and Michael Cera have made a living off of for a little over a decade now. It is explicit, sometimes a little full of itself, and sometimes lacking some editing, but is is nevertheless a successful, memorable look on the lack of morality in our culture.
By displaying to audiences a severely dishonest human being, Roger Dodger's thought-provoking script is able to reach a surprising level of honesty. While Campbell Scott plays a hugely unlikeable character (which wouldn't be a problem if the script didn't want audiences to sympathize with him), Jesse Eisenberg is as good as always in his first-ever movie.
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