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Fantasia 2020 – DINNER IN AMERICA Movie Review

Dinner in America is a punk rock love story for the ages. Written and directed by Adam Carter Rehmeier, the film stars Kyle Gallner and Emily Skeggs and takes place in the Midwest.

Simon (Gallner) is a punk rock pyromaniac who basically does not give a fuck! Patty (Skeggs) is stuck cleaning out shit from cages at the pet store and gets mercilessly bullied on a daily basis. Neither of them have a great family life, whatever that could be considered, and don’t get along with their families. The film also stars Griffin Gluck, Pat Healy, Mary Lynn Rajskub, and Lea Thompson.

Simon and Patty meet by accident after Simon set a house on fire and was on the run. Simon takes advantage of the situation and goest home for dinner with Patty. After concocting an outrageous story about his family being missionaries that were preaching the Gospel in Tanzania so that he can stay with Patty and lay low for a while.

From the moment they meet, they are inseparable. What starts as Simon using Patty becomes a friendship and the two learn that they have a lot more in common than they initially thought. This intense quirky love story is an instant cult classic.

Having grown up in the Midwest, Dinner in America brings back some memories. While Columbia, MO is not THE place where you might think the punk scene is thriving, but you would be wrong. The town was so eclectic because it is a college town. I saw some of myself in Simon and Patty both. Feeling as though there is something so much bigger out there than their small town can provide.

Dinner in America ticks all of the boxes and then some for what I look for in a movie. This is not only hands down, my favorite film of Fantasia 2020, it is one that I could see myself watching it multiple times. This may seem like high praise, but I stand behind this statement. The characters are so genuinely unique and the script is a tight and never wastes time. I was truly engaged throughout the film even if I wasn’t watching it on the big screen.

This is one film that I intend to purchase on release. Can’t wait to see what is next for this cast and crew.


Socially awkward Patty (Emily Skeggs, THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST) gets bullied on the regular, works a pet-store job that she hates, and has what could generously be described as an uncomfortable home life. A chance encounter with on-the-lam punk rocker Simon (Kyle Gallner, AMERICAN SNIPER) changes her world. Not because he sweeps her off her feet. He’s dismissive, aggro, and has a penchant for randomly setting fires. Just the same, their combined energies unlock a powder keg of inner revolutions as they embark on an insane journey through the sinking suburbs of the American Midwest. A pukingly riotous anti-romantic comedy – that just happens to be genuinely romantic – about self-discovery through anger, creativity and music, existing in a universe between WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE and REPO MAN.

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The Author

Jim Napier

Jim Napier

Lover of movies and The Big Lebowski.