Erratic and lightweight, LATE FOR DINNER is the most recent in a spate of time-travel movies seemingly inspired by the success of the BACK TO THE FUTURE trilogy.
Opening in Santa Fe circa 1962, a pair of brothers-in-law, Willie Husband (Brian Wimmer) and the slightly retarded Frank Lovegren (Peter Berg), believing they've accidentally killed a greedy land developer, Bob Freeman (Peter Gallagher), who's trying to take over Willie's home, flee into the
clutches of cryonics scientist Dr. David Arrington (Michael Beach), who adds them to his storeroom of frozen clients. Accidental]y thawed out and confronted with present-day Los Angeles, Willie and Frank look up Willie's wife Joy (Marcia Gay Harden) and daughter Jessica (Colleen Flynn), who's now
just about Willie's age.
W.D. Richter parlayed a highly successful screenwriting career into his feature directorial debut with the bizarre sci-fi opus THE ADVENTURES OF BUCKAROO BANZAI. Unfortunately, Richter has never lived up to the early promise of such witty screenplays as SLITHER and the 1978 remake of THE BODY
Written by newcomer Mark Andrus, LATE FOR DINNER succeeds for a while on the befuddled heroes' attempts to cope with 90s culture--fast food, rap music, Ronald Reagan, etc. Yet it is never as deft and entertaining as, say, the sight of Victorian novelist H.G. Wells (Malcolm McDowell) wandering
similarly dazed through contemporary San Francisco in Nicholas Meyer's TIME AFTER TIME.
Always frustratingly on the verge of taking off, LATE FOR DINNER ultimately derails into heavy sentimentality in the climactic reunion of Willie and his three-decades-older wife and daughter. The film features decent performances, with Harden, after her smashing debut in MILLER'S CROSSING, coming
off best in a difficult role.
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- Released: 1991
- Rating: PG
- Review: Erratic and lightweight, LATE FOR DINNER is the most recent in a spate of time-travel movies seemingly inspired by the success of the BACK TO THE FUTURE trilogy. Opening in Santa Fe circa 1962, a pair of brothers-in-law, Willie Husband (Brian Wimmer) and… (more)