August 31, 2020

GENRE | 'Dinner in America' Punks Out x Fantasia 2020

"That was some raw ass sh*t!"
Kyle Gallner Emily Skeggs Adam Rehmeier | Dinner in America | Fantasia International Film Festival 2020
Fantasia International Film Festival
A sort of ode to punk rock culture, Dinner in America involves a low-level crime spree (imagine a tame, young adult version of Natural Born Killers sans murdering) as two very different but troubled social outcasts (Kyle Gallner and Emily Skeggs) who bond over shared interests and dislike of others.

Sweet yet filthy, the bonkers film revels in pushing boundaries and defying social niceties while investing in its characters’ sense dissatisfaction leading to rebellion. Writer/director Adam Rehmeier taps into a sort of youthful dissatisfaction set in Anytown, USA with hints at a generic 1990-00s setting before internet or smartphone culture took over.

Both Gallner and Skeggs as misfits bring levity and humour to their very strangely offbeat characters. Gallner is particularly aggressive and intense balanced out by Skeggs sweetly curious demeanour. Rehmeier taps into a sense of Midwestern malaise in suggesting a fakeness to the everyday lives most people have unknowingly settled for.

The lo-fi, punk rock nature of Dinner in America's twisted romance nature makes it all the more endearing. There's real darkness to the characters that make the grungy, vulgar take on suburban Americana particularly interesting.

Dinner in America screened virtually as part of the 2020 Fantasia International Film Festival (Montreal) online.

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