Time: 110 mins.
Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay.
I don't remember the first time I saw DINER, but over the years I've watched it again and again. It's one of those films that just makes you smile and yearn for the days when friendship was the only thing that mattered. I think this film is Levinson's best, maybe because it's the one closest to his own life. The characters are far from perfect and aren't always likable, but you'll love spending time with them. The film doesn't really have much of a plot. It's more about situations and emotions, what's happening to this group of friends as they cross the threshold to adulthood. It takes place over a long weekend and centers around the upcoming marriage of one of the gang. The wedding gives the group a reason to get together, to hang out at the diner one final time before another of them takes the plunge. Which will only happen if the fianceé passes a demanding sports quiz. Very juvenile, but extremely funny, which pretty much describes this movie as a whole. Though not juvenile in a DUMB AND DUMBER kind of way.
These characters are just trying to live out life like Peter Pan. All fun and games, no responsibilities. Most of the group is aimless and single, just trying to figure out what to do with their lives. Shrevie (Stern) is the only married member and though he loves his wife Beth (Barkin), he's no longer sure why they ever got together. They have nothing in common and the gap between them is growing by the day. Not sure whether he wants to get married, Eddie (Guttenberg) devises this incredibly hard quiz no woman would be able to pass, especially in the late 50s, in order to have a way out. Why anyone would want to marry such a man is never answered, but then again this is a comedy. Mickey Rourke, in one of the only good roles he's ever had, plays Boogie, a consummate gambler and ladies man with a heart of gold. Kevin Bacon, in his first major screen role, plays the wacky, irresponsible, drunk, upper class, Fenwick. His antics give the film some of its' greatest laughs, though it's obvious his character is in more mental pain than he'd ever admit.