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Friends for Dinner - A Movie Review

'Friends for Dinner' is one of the most relatable adult friendship films.

By Marielle SabbagPublished 28 days ago 3 min read
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Similar to ourselves, friendships change over time.

Friends for Dinner is a 2001 film. The story unravels one fateful evening when Beth announces she is divorcing Tom. The news flares up tensions among a friend group sharing debates over whether exploring new relationships is healthier than pursuing unhappiness.

Friends for Dinner is one of the most relatable adult friendship films. I didn’t realize how much I’d learn from watching this film. Friendship is an amazing gift, but it requires work to learn from mistakes and make adjustments. This film delicately navigates the intricacies of adult friendships and the evolving dynamics of relationships.

The cast starred Dennis Quaid, Andie MacDowell, Greg Kinnear, and Toni Collette. They shared excellent interactions, making their relationship genuine. These characters are flawed which makes them more authentic. As the story unfolds, their dynamics shift as buried resentments and unspoken desires bubble to the surface.

Each actor stands out, especially Collette. You all know how much I love Collette. Watching her transition from calm to breaking is like watching a masterclass video on acting.

This film marks the first time Collette and Kinnear play a married couple. You must watch Little Miss Sunshine if you have not seen it. Beth and Tommy’s relationship poses alarming behavioral threats. I was worried when their fight turned physical, beating each other.

I was on the fence about reviewing this film as it studies reminiscent themes about relationships that most films occupy. What changed my mind was how the film explores adult friendships. The conversation between Karen and Beth spoke to me about how they disagreed about pursuing new relationships.

The late Norman Jewison made a relatable film for couples or friends having a difficult time. Friends for Dinner is an insightful film. Jewison's deft direction ensures that each character is given room to breathe, their motivations and conflicts explored with sensitivity and depth.

These characters are two decades older than me, but I have experienced growing apart from people, whether we meant to or not. Things change as you get older. If you have different feelings, talk with your friends or spouse. Keeping things bottled up won’t do any good.

While watching the film, I noticed that the staging and dialogue were reminiscent of a play. Friends for Dinner is based on a play written by Donald Margulies. The play won a Pulitzer Prize in 2000.

The dialogue is strong and incorporates realistic conversations about relationships, past reminiscing and giving advice. The dialogue crackles with authenticity, seamlessly weaving together conversations about relationships, nostalgia, and sage advice.

However, the narrative briefly falters in the middle half with a flashback sequence of Beth's introduction to the group. It fleshes out the group dynamic, but it disrupts the flow of the story. It takes us out of the story and we already get an idea based on earlier conversations.

There are a few moments of comedy, but at times, the film is a heavy drama. The conversations will feel tedious to those who aren’t interested in dialogue-heavy films.

I have an issue with the title. The title doesn’t make much sense considering they only have dinner once and the four of them are rarely together. After the beginning, the characters have conversations in different settings. Titles can be anything, but you should at least make it reminiscent of the film.

Take a look at Friends for Dinner. I’m not too fond of relationship films, but I liked it. You never know, this film may be the needed therapy to help anyone find answers.

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About the Creator

Marielle Sabbag

Writing has been my passion since I was 11 years old. I love creating stories from fiction, poetry, fanfiction. I enjoy writing movie reviews. I would love to become a creative writing teacher and leave the world inspiring minds.

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  • Ameer Bibi28 days ago

    Your observation is right, name of the film indicates that it is based on some dinner party arranged by friends. Any ways your style of movie review is good, though I never write for any film review. But it is good for others to get some information if they are interested to watch it or not.

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