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Overall Rating
4.59

Awesome78.05%
Worth A Look: 9.76%
Average: 7.32%
Pretty Bad: 2.44%
Total Crap: 2.44%

3 reviews, 23 user ratings


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Diner
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by Scott Weinberg

"Barry Levinson's classic comedy about young friends in Baltimore."
5 stars

Just a perfect example of a small movie with memorable and funny characters. Extremely well-acted and directed in a very personal fashion. So many scenes seem like conversations you may overhear in public, except they're too damn funny.

Diner is a quite simple collection of men and women at a certain moment, winter 1959. Eddie (Steve Guttenberg at his most tolerable) is about to marry his girlfriend, but first she must answer a quiz on the Baltimore Colts. Boogie (Mickey Rourke at his most tolerably smug) has severe gambling issues. Shrevie (Daniel Stern at his least shrill) and Beth (Ellen Barkin at her least abrasive) are a young couple realizing that married life is not all roses. Fenwick (Kevin Bacon, looking young) is a troubled joker who is shunned by his rich family. Modell (Paul Reiser, when he was funny) is one of the guys, the catalyst for some of the best lines. Billy (Tim Daly, actually in a real movie) is back in town for Eddie's wedding, and we get to join him as he gets back with his friends and family.

See this one. It has some real emotion, which means small quiet moments that ring true, and not some big sweeping emotional manipulations. A lot of the characters may remind you of people you know, and you actually start to care for how these people turn out.

And there is some great comedy in this. The interaction between the friends in the diner, the argument about the records, and Mickey Rourke's classic scene in the movie theater. ("It just....popped up?")

It works as a postcard from a more innocent time, a movie that can be enjoyed by baby boomers as well as their teens, and it still stands as Barry Levinson's finest (and first, tellingly), and considering he's also done Tin Men, The Natural, Rain Man, and Good Morning Vietnam, that's saying something. (OK, he also directed Toys, Sphere and Jimmy Hollywood, but give him a break.)

If you're a fan of comedies and still haven't seen Diner, you're fooling yourself. A pure classic, easily worth repeat viewings. Touching, sincere and very funny. Oh, and I hear it launched a career or two. Hmm.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1191&reviewer=128
originally posted: 10/19/99 15:19:15
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User Comments

12/24/12 Old guy who should have known better If you didn't have friends like this at that age, you missed out 5 stars
7/07/10 PAUL SHORTT AMUSING AND SHARPLY OBSERVED 4 stars
7/24/09 Steve Superb. My favorite, along with "Local Hero." 5 stars
12/22/06 Eric Phelps Charming and funny. 5 stars
1/14/06 Indrid Cold Like a less colorful and less interesting American Graffiti. 4 stars
7/13/03 Dan Secrest Coming of age movie without much depth. 3 stars
3/22/03 Jack Sommersby Where else are you going to see someone put their dick in a popcorn box? 5 stars
1/02/03 Sam Potter Intelligent, but booring. Funny stuff was raunchy, hard to sympathize with the characters. 3 stars
7/15/02 upper middle class jew Required viewing for any guy who's seen his H.S. buddies grow up and move on. 5 stars
6/30/02 Huh? I guess if I was an upper middle class jew this'd be a masterpiece. Good acting though. 2 stars
4/12/02 Melissa Lakey Blinding film, one i will never forget. Thanx for recommending it dad!! 5 stars
2/27/02 matt carsel Dead on review, Abrams 5 stars
2/17/02 Clarance eah 1 stars
1/02/02 Andrew Carden Din't You Just Love Those Diners??? 5 stars
7/14/01 fran herskovitz loved the movie looking for the name of the song daniel stern sang in the car ain t got no 4 stars
7/11/01 Boomshanka A good Levinson flick. Worth tracking down. 4 stars
7/10/01 Anne Awesome. Classic. A Must See. 5 stars
7/07/01 TLsmooth Bacon. Daly. Rourke. Guttenberg. Stern. Fucking Awesome my ass. 3 stars
6/20/01 Elvisfan What fucking Chisholm trail? 5 stars
9/23/00 Stewart Ball Diner is Barry Levinson's best movie. I love the rock'n'roll oldies in it. A cult classic. 5 stars
1/02/00 Saul Gordon very significant nostalgic experience 5 stars
1/31/99 Guess? Kevin Bacon kicked ass in this film 5 stars
12/24/98 Lou Pine, Jr. A classic that belongs in every video library. Barkin is the yummiest. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  02-Jul-1982 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  02-Feb-1983 (M)




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