RODGER DODGER, International Debut Venice 2002
When recently asked at the Venice Film Festival about the speed of his debut feature "Rodger Dodger", Dylan Kidd replied that he wasn't trying to make a "Good Girl Friday" but wanted to make it fast enough to not put people to sleep. Not only a galloping script but a handheld camera without a steadicam is used to convey dating life in Manhattan. Kidd was anxious to get back to work on this film in the aftermath of September 11.
Roger Swanson played by Campbell Scott the son of George C Scott is a successful advertising agent who usually spends Manhattan nights, party hopping, mixing business with pleasure. He acquired the nickname Roger Dodger for his ability to talk himself out of uncomfortable situations and uses this skill with relish however juvenile. He's made up his mind he has the upper hand with his boss Joyce played by Isabella Rosselini, but she knows better. Does he secretly loathe his lifestyle as a womanizer? It's hard to say since his mouth never stops shuts about the war between the sexes and how to win the battle. He's convinced that men will become extinct as women slowly get the upper hand in the food chain. Still although he claims he always gets what he wants he finds himself often alone. His inability to form true partnerships is almost a psychosis. However, in his wake he plows down, insults and affronts women.
Soon his 17-year-old nephew Nick Jesse Eisenberg arrives who looks up to his successful uncle and Rodger begins his initiation into the darker side of sex and seduction. Together they hook up with two young women, played by bar girls Elizabeth Berkley from "Showgirls" and Jennifer Beals from "Flashdance" who gives Eisenberg his first kiss and a peek up her desk. Beales fussed over Kidd at Venice claiming the female roles are so empowering and that is what Kidd is all about. In some kind of twisted way maybe she's right but her brief on screen role seems more of a Penthouse ideal than a revolution of female energy. The camera work and dialogue are captivating so its safe to say that "Rodger Dodger" will play to eyes wide open but the neantrathal wizard of pick up lines is guaranteed to produce a few yawns
This is Moira Sullivan for Movie Magazine International, Venice Italy
© 2002 - Moira Sullivan - Air Date: 11/02
USA - 2002