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Rodger Dodger

By Ian Grey | Posted

Part Neal Labute sex-war comedy and part less-arch David Mamet chatterfest, Dylan Kidd's first film limns one night in the life of a titular pick-up artist/copywriter (Campbell Scott) prone to a machine-gun discourses on inter-sexual Darwinism. After being dumped by his lover/boss (Isabella Rossellini), Roger assists his visiting 16 year-old nephew Nick (Jesse Eisenberg) in losing his cherry amidst the high pressure Manhattan bar scene. Thanks to Roger's 150-BPM musings, and a wonderful performance by Jennifer Beals as a sweet-hearted hottie, Roger Dodger is seldom less than wonderful, dialogue-based fun. But Kidd--who wrote and directed--isn't as vicious as his references, and Roger's last reel conversion to moral clarity arrives from somewhere deep in left field. And please, enough already with the requisite handheld fake-verite shaky-cam: Future historians will look at the cinema of the early 21st century and baffle over why nobody could afford camera mounts.

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