Michael Delahoyde, PhD

Professor of English

My Dinner with Andre



Notes: The André Company. 110 minutes.
André Gregory: André Gregory
Wallace Shawn: Wallace Shawn

Director: Louis Malle
Producers: George W. George and Beverly Karp
Screenplay: Wallace Shawn and André Gregory
Cinematography: Jeri Sopanen
Music: Allen Shawn

Summary: During the 1980s, Wallace Shawn, a writer andplaywright, is forced to attend a dinner with André Gregory,a burned-out theater director. Except for a few minutes at boththe beginning and end of this film “action” all takesplace at the dinner table; we get to eavesdrop on their entireconversation. André talks about his journeys to exoticlocations, and amidst these stories we also get to observe anentire meal.

Commentary: We get to see Gregory and Shawn read and selectfrom the menus and also the various courses as they are served.The best food moment in this film is when the quail is served;it looks delicious but the serving is quite small. This causesthe diner to make the remark, “I didn’t realize how smallthey are.” The focus of this film is the conversation, notthe food. Considering that almost the entire film occurs at thedinner table it is worthy of being considered a food film. Howeververy little screen time is devoted to the food; the food is veryrarely shown at a good angle and is anything but spectacular –it pales in comparison even to the dishes in Soul Food.Also, a film that is an endless conversation between two men canat times be difficult to sit through for a mere glimpse of quail.

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