My Dinner with André

1981

My Dinner with André

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

91%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 23

85%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 7,093
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Movie Info

The quintessential "talk" film. Theater director Andre Gregory meets his old friend actor/playwright Wallace Shawn at an upscale New York restaurant to catch up on each other's lives. Gregory has travelled the world in search of alternate methods of creative and spiritual expression. Shawn plays straight man (and devil's advocate) in this unusual conversation and reminds Gregory of the more down-to-earth pleasures of New York life. While Shawn is a pragmatist, he is understandably impressed by Gregory's exploits. The screenplay was also written by Gregory and Shawn, a "best-of" collection of several tape-recorded conversations between the two. Director Louis Malle provides appropriately minimal direction. Gregory, Shawn and Malle collaborated again in Vanya on 42nd Street.

Cast

Wallace Shawn
as Wally Shawn
Andre Gregory
as Andre Gregory
Roy Butler
as Bartender

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Critic Reviews for My Dinner with André

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (21) | Rotten (2)

Audience Reviews for My Dinner with André

  • Aug 21, 2017
    There is something incredibly odd about this film. I think the best way to review this movie is to describe my viewing experience. I nearly turned it off around 35 minutes in, an odd thought for a film I ultimately gave 4.5 stars. I heard a lot of hype about this film and found myself thinking this is just boring and tedious. I fought through my initial hesitation and was greatly rewarded for my efforts. The opening monologue from Andre is sort of infuriating and tedious. He goes on about his own life with great doses of liberal hyperbole. You want to interject and say "you must be joking". His partner in this conversation, Wally, waits a really long time before he starts trying to move the conversation away from such whimsy into some reality. He never really moves Andre in a terribly satisfying way. I think all of this unease, perceived missed chances to make a point and general awkwardness are why this ultimately is such an excellent movie. This is a real conversation about lofty ideas. You do no fire off witty replies in sequence when you talk with someone at dinner, so why should the character do the same here? This is a difficult exchange of ideas that unfolds exactly as it would, maybe not as it should. This is really the essence of this film. My Dinner with Andre so beautifully captures and teases out those moments when we have a deep talk with someone. The awkward moments, the successes and tempo is all so true to life you eventually cannot look away. This is human sub-text layered in such a masterful way. When I finished watching this movie I was shocked how my first inclination was to restart it again. My hope was that maybe the conversation could happen a different way or I could say something or react differently, or or or... The movie replays endlessly like a really memorable debate in your life. It is replete with all the same angst and hindsight reflection. This is not an easy human moment to capture, but My Dinner with Andrew does it masterfully.
    Shane S Super Reviewer
  • Oct 05, 2015
    My Dinner with Andre is one of those films you may well hear about, because it is really pretty different. This is the kind of film where you have to have (or have had) a lot of existential curiousity to be able to enjoy it. The less you think you know about this world, the more interesting you will find Andre's tales to be. Beyond that, you may still find it interesting if you can relate to the quest for meaning and happiness and you think of yourself as a student of human interactions. On the other hand, if you have low tolerance for weirdness and fancy, then you are likely to find yourself to be irritated by it all. There is a question of how high to rate it as a film since it seems to be just a recorded conversation. I rate it down just a bit on that account (seems unfair to other films), though I find there are some subtleties to be picked up on, and I found Wallace Shawn to give a pretty good performance with his sincere and mildly intense reactions to Andre (and at one point finds something to be INCONCEIVABLE!). Recommended to artist- and entrepreneurial types that find themselves often wondering over the edge of the World of Appearances.
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 18, 2014
    "Tedium" is the only thing on the menu -- served raw.
    Christian C Super Reviewer
  • Apr 15, 2013
    My Dinner with Andre was a film that has previously caught my eye because dialogue in my mind is the most stand out part of a film in personal experiences. But this helped me realize on the contrary of what I thought it can't make a film. Don't get me wrong, I did enjoy this film well enough, but it didn't meet my expectations. Just like in a real conversation I missed large chunks of the dialogue, and was zoning out. Despite the screenplay covering interesting talking points, with no music or anything it wasn't always enough. The acting was magnificent, using their real names in the film Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory seemed always genuine and like real people imperfect. Wally felt like someone coming out of a Seinfeld episode, in look and in talk. Andre is a movie character I would like to have a meal with, but it seems I already did. I do like the courage Malle had at attempting such an idea, it's almost ludicrous. It's not pure entertainment, but it's his most enjoyable film I've seen.
    Daniel D Super Reviewer

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