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
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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.
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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