Dinner In America (2021)

Director: Adam Carter Rehmeier

Running Time: 108 Minutes

Certification: 15

Starring: Kyle Gallner, Emily Skeggs, Pat Healy, Griffin Gluck, Lea Thompson, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Hannah Marks, Brittany Sheets

In a Midwestern suburb, a bout of arson and a close call with the police sees punk rocker Simon (Kyle Gallner) finding himself on the run again. Meanwhile, the socially awkward Patty (Emily Skeggs) is obsessed with John Q, the masked lead singer of her favourite band who she regularly sends love letters to. A chance encounter sees Patty providing Simon with a place to lay low, though she's unaware he's actually John Q.

Upon first meeting, Simon's shown partaking in medical studies and dealing drugs to fund his bands next album. Fiery and aggressive, Gallner captures these characteristics which led to him being on the run, while also conveying how big-hearted he truly is under the bravado. This is expressed when he meets Patty, using his own methods to help this quiet and often bullied girl come out of her shell. Once she finally gains confidence, Patty becomes a real dark horse who readily matches Simon for raging ambition, all exceptionally portrayed by Skeggs.

The punk-rock Bonnie to his Clyde, the pair have a touching bond which is wonderfully developed, reaching the standout moment where they make music. It initially shows Simon playing each instrument, before it all comes together for Patty to sing to. The resulting banger of an original song is called Watermelon, and is destined to be endlessly replayed on Spotify.

Writer/director/editor Adam Carter Rehmeier sets the tone from early on, with an opening that's chaotic in the best possible way. Lurking beneath that passionate rage is a heart of gold, selling the loving relationship that's key to this film. Mixed within this strange concoction are dark comedy and endearing eccentricities, leaving a lasting impression as the credits roll. Some people may need to take it down a notch, though this film certainly doesn't.

Dinner In America is available to stream on Arrow Player, to rent from Video on Demand services, and will be available on Blu-Ray from August 8th