Melvin Goes to Dinner (2003)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Melvin Goes to Dinner Videos

Melvin Goes to Dinner Photos

Movie Info

Mr. Show alumnus Bob Odenkirk's directorial debut, Melvin Goes to Dinner, is based on the play +Phyrogiants! by Michael Blieden, who also adapted the script for the screen and stars in the film's titular role. Melvin has just broken up with his girlfriend, Trenice (Melora Walters), and has met up with his friend Joey (Matt Price) and two women, Alex (Stephanie Courtney) and Sarah (Annabelle Gurwitch), whose relationship to the men remains ambiguous. From there, the bulk of the action takes place around a table at a restaurant, as the four bare their innermost secrets and discuss everything from ghosts to stewardesses to masturbation. The film was shot simultaneously on five hand-held cameras in order to capture the essence and idiosyncrasies of the constantly overlapping conversations. Featuring appearances by Odenkirk, David Cross, Maura Tierney, and Jack Black in an unbilled cameo as a mental patient, and a score by Michael Penn, Melvin Goes to Dinner was the winner of the Audience Award for First Film at the 2003 South by Southwest Film Festival, the Best American Feature Award at the 2003 Avignon Film Festival, and the Best Picture Award at the Phoenix Film Festival.
R (adult situations/language)
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:

Watch it now


Matt Price
as Joey
Kathleen Roll
as Waitress
Maura Tierney
as Leslie
Jack Black
as Mental Patient
David Cross
as Seminar Leader
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Melvin Goes to Dinner

Critic Reviews for Melvin Goes to Dinner

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (3)

Isn't note perfect by any stretch, but it's great fun to listen to.

November 21, 2003
Washington Post
Top Critic

Makes for a witty, urbane and down-to-earth night of discussion that packs a good deal of kick.

Full Review… | November 13, 2003
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

Despite its compositional flaws, Melvin Goes to Dinner will please anyone who takes the art of social chatter seriously.

Full Review… | August 29, 2003
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Odenkirk's direction and Blieden's script consistently steer Melvin toward gentle and humane moments of revelation, which might feel incidental if they weren't delivered with so much wit and such bracing generosity.

Full Review… | December 7, 2003
Boxoffice Magazine

At times the film feels so real, it almost plays like a documentary.

Full Review… | October 16, 2003
Arizona Daily Star

Has the universal truths of the comedy inherent in our everyday lives

Full Review… | July 24, 2003

Audience Reviews for Melvin Goes to Dinner


There's some really good dialogue here, but the writing itself is weak, as the film doesn't really know what it wants to be. Character development seems forced through the flashbacks, but it isn't helped by sub-par acting. Overall, it's entertaining but lacking depth, and the revelation about the little boy near the end feels tacky.

James Jackson
James Jackson

Wonderful little indie film, that is completely centered around a dialogue between friends and strangers. As the cover indicates, the topics range wildly, starting off with the silly (ghosts) and ending up quite serious (romantic relationships, death). I found the conversations riveting and very organic, as the bottles of wine opened these individuals up to explore all their inner struggles.

Chris Ducat
Chris Ducat

Not particularly good filmmaking, but an interesting stage play on film. Odenkirk is the director, but don't kid yourself - the movie isn't all that funny. Average, but can take up a boring Sunday.

Scott Corley
Scott Corley

Melvin Goes to Dinner Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss Melvin Goes to Dinner on our Movie forum!

News & Features