My Dinner with Andre

My Dinner with Andre ★★★★½

Lately, I've been reconnecting with a lot of former friends and acquaintances from high school and college. And no, I don't mean on Facebook. I mean sitting down and having an actual conversation, filled with meaningful dialogue, heart wrenching regrets, near-death experiences, and spirited philosophical debates. While watching My Dinner with Andre, sometimes I checked out from whatever they were talking about and let my mind wander to things relevant to my own life. By the end I was moved and refreshed, just like I feel after these dinners/meet-ups I've been having that are becoming more and more frequent as I get older.

I can't say I have anything in common with white male playwrights, one of whom is content with his predictable life of routine, the other constantly pushing the boundaries of his beliefs and experiences. In this case, I didn't need to connect to either character in order to enjoy the film as a whole. I simply enjoyed the fact that they genuinely seemed to enjoy each other's company so much and how open they were to being transformed by the experience. To be honest, I thought Andre was pretentious and self-obsessed, and that he was missing out on the important things in life by constantly talking about them in rapturous story-telling mode. I thought Wally was slightly more sympathetic, but he still rubbed me the wrong way with his annoyingly obvious voiceovers in the beginning and the end.

What this film experience really boiled down to for me was how it was perfectly able to capture the exhilaration one feels from forming a fleeting bond with someone who isn't constantly in your life. This space created between Andre and Wally felt like a safe little temporary bubble where they could take a break from their real lives in order to put everything into perspective. It's also an opportunity to vent frustrations and be honest about things that could cause permanent damage in real-life relationships. This little dreamland I was able to spy on for just a short two hours perfectly mirrored what I've experienced in real life. I can't be sure with just one watch, but this just might be a masterpiece.

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