Late for Dinner

In his first film since the scattershot sci-fi joke-o-rama The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai (1984), director W.D. Richter had a wonderful-sounding notion: What if you took a Back to the Future-style story about two early-’60s guys who are frozen solid for 29 years and then thawed and, rather than milking it for thrills and gags, played it in a low-key, naturalistic style? What if you cast anonymous-looking non-movie stars like Brian Wimmer (from TV’s China Beach) and Peter Berg? And what if you reversed the usual blockbuster symmetries, so that the hero, instead of trying to return to his old life, decides to remain in his new one, even if that means his beautiful wife (Marcia Gay Harden) is now 29 years older than she was before? Wouldn’t that be…romantic? On paper, perhaps. But Late for Dinner, while invitingly friendly in tone, has been so meticulously scrubbed of what we generally think of as entertainment value that the result is mostly a quirky, dawdling snooze. C-

Late for Dinner
  • Movie