This week Michael and Nakea are sharing a box of popcorn over Barry Levinson's Diner (1982), starring Kevin Bacon, Tim Daly, Steve Guttenberg, Paul Reiser, Mickey Rourke, Daniel Stern, and Ellen Barkin.
First, we're making much ado about nothing: literally. One of the most influential (if frequently overlooked) comedies of the 1980s, Diner helped invent the narrative concept of "nothing"—centering meaningless pop-culture banter and the minutiae of everyday life—and helped inspire shows and movies like Seinfeld, The Office, and High Fidelity. So we're having a very zen conversation about the value of nothing, and discussing whether that value fluctuates depending on who's bringing nothing to the table.
Then, we're sitting down for The Unenthusiastic Critic's first viewing of Levinson's low-key classic, for yet another discussion about emotionally-stunted men and the women they don't deserve.
See you on the flip side.
0:00: Prologue: from Seinfeld
0:47: Preliminary Conversation: Much Ado About Nothing
16:47: Interlude: from Diner
17:28: Cultural Osmosis: Pre-Viewing Discussion
24:28: Interlude: Original Trailer
26:29: The Verdict: Post-Viewing Discussion
1:12:16: Outro and Next Week's Movie
Notes and Links
—Movie Reviewed: Diner (dir. Barry Levinson, MGM, 1982)|
—Prologue from Seinfeld 4×03: "The Pitch," September 16, 1992.
—Links and Resources: "Much Ado About Nothing," S.L. Prince, Vanity Fair; "Diner: An Oral History," Evan Serpick, Baltimore Magazine; "He Drew from His Boyhood to Make Diner," Steven Farber, New York Times; "How Diner Rewrote the Rules of the Buddy Comedy," Robert Silva, HBO; "Diner: On the Flip Side," Documentary Short, DVD, Warner Bros.
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—"Warm Duck Shuffle" by Arne Huseby is licensed under CC BY 3.0.