Did your grandpa ever read stories to you when you were young? Or maybe he even made up his own stories and told them to you. These stories, either read or made up, are some of the best story experiences we had as kids. In Louis Malle’s My Dinner with Andre, the main character, Andre, shares stories of his adventures in life, including dropping out of school, travelling around the world and other interesting events he’s taken part in or observed over the years. About 90 per cent of the movie takes place in a restaurant. That may sound not that interesting but this movie isn’t about what you see on the screen, it’s about those stories that Andre shares with his friend, Wally. Andre creates vivid imagery with his words, so vivid in fact, that when I remember back to when I first watched it, I don’t visualize the restaurant, I visualize the tall trees he talks about in one of his stories. I think this is truly remarkable. Movie budgets have been skyrocketing in recent years and movies are still being overproduced with CGI explosions, and completely green-screened sets. My Dinner with Andre isn’t one of these movies, though it wasn’t released in this century (original release date was Oct. 11, 1981). Even though it only made $5,000 in its opening weekend, it has grossed over $5.25 million since! The reason that a movie this simple has made so much money is because people quite simply like it. People like that it’s different from what they normally see, it’s different than the movies that are available on Netflix, and it’s different from what they see featured on iTunes. I will admit that this movie isn’t for everyone. I initially saw it because they referenced it in an episode of Community (S2:E19). When I tried watching this movie with someone else, they were bored by it and didn’t find it nearly as interesting as I did. I would probably chalk that up to personal preference but it bugs me that they didn’t even want to finish watching it. This is probably the type of movie that you watch by yourself but I can’t clearly define the reason. This movie is one of the best I’ve ever seen. It doesn’t distract from a terrible plot with an even worse love story. My Dinner with Andre is simply a great story, completely void of typical movie clichés. You can rent and purchase the movie on iTunes or you can check out one of the five copies available from the Edmonton Public Library.
By KYLE MATZ