Louis Malle made enthralling cinema out of Andre Gregory and Wallace Shawn chatting over dinner, while Michael Lindsay-Hogg's spurious blab-fest offers two of the Fab Four strumming and chatting in a film that could have been called "My Dinner With a Beatle." Suppose that in 1976, while playing Madison Square Garden with his new group, Wings, Paul McCartney (Aidan Quin) had swallowed his pride and dropped in on John Lennon (Jared Harris)? In the years since the Beatles' split in 1970, Paul has been writing songs that Lennon dismisses as bubble gum music. Chronically paranoid, Lennon bristles at the mention of a reunion, but Paul is more interested in healing old wounds. Although Yoko is out of town on business, she still manipulates Lennon by phone, and Paul can tell that his old friend is burned out. When Paul admits that he may have overacted to Yoko's inclusion in John's affairs, John's bitterness temporarily subsides, but only when they start playing music together does their old bond fall back in place. Paul coaxes the reclusive John outdoors and encourages him to cut up and enjoy himself. John's temporary freedom dissipates when fans approach; John's sour reaction to their praise doesn't help matters. Then, in a spur-of-the-moment decision, Paul prompts John to consider a dare from "Saturday Night Live" to show up at the NBC studios. Needy John places a phone call to Yoko, and there's no more question of expanding John's horizons. Playwrights and screenwriters have posited meetings between all kinds of with varying degrees of success; this tedious, "what-if" melodrama falls somewhere near the low end of the scale, as two self-absorbed legends wag accusatory fingers at each other.
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- Released: 2000
- Rating: PG-13
- Review: Louis Malle made enthralling cinema out of Andre Gregory and Wallace Shawn chatting over dinner, while Michael Lindsay-Hogg's spurious blab-fest offers two of the Fab Four strumming and chatting in a film that could have been called "My Dinner With a Beatl… (more)