DVD Review: The Dish & the Spoon

STUDIO: Screen Media | DIRECTOR: Alison Bagnall | CAST: Greta Gerwig, Olly Alexander, Eleonore Hendricks, Amy Seimetz, Adam Rothenberg
DVD RELEASE DATE: 3/13/2012 | PRICE: DVD $24.98
SPECS: R | 92 min. | Comedy drama | widescreen | Dolby Digital 5.1

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie  | Audio  | Video  | Overall


Though the film The Dish & the Spoon takes its title from the nursery rhyme in which “the dish ran away with the spoon,” this indie romantic comedy-drama is its own original, bittersweet confection.

The Dish & the Spoon movie scene

Greta Gerwig and Olly Alexander are The Dish & the Spoon.

Greta Gerwig (No Strings Attached) is Rose, a young woman who goes haywire when she discovers that her boyfriend has cheated on her. After getting a donut and some beers from a convenience store, she takes a rest in an old lighthouse in an abandoned resort town where she meets a young man from England (Olly Alexander, Gulliver’s Travels), who was dumped by his girlfriend upon arriving in The States. The two of them—an unusual, unlikely couple—discuss life and love as they bond and then fall for each other. The interesting point of the relationship is that Rose has problems letting go of her past, while the guy (who is unnamed) doesn’t seem to have a past.

The Dish & the Spoon, co-written and directed by Alison Bagnall, is a road movie with a rueful tone that works because of the charisma of its two leads. Gerwig, the one-time “Meryl Streep of the Mumblecore movement” (Hannah Takes the Stairs, Baghead), brings startling life to Rose, a character who is unpredictable and volatile but also strangely likable at the same time. And Olly Alexander’s male is appropriately awkward but winning, trying to find his way in his world and into her life.

While its run in theaters was limited and short-lived, The Dish & the Spoon should find an audience on DVD.  It would make a fine rustic counterpart on a double feature with Noah Baumbach’s quirky New York-based indie The Squid & the Whale.

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About Irv

Irv Slifkin has been reviewing movies since before he got kicked off of his high school radio station for panning The Towering Inferno in 1974. He has written the books VideoHound’s Groovy Movies: Far-Out Films of the Psychedelic Era and Filmadelphia: A Celebration of a City’s Movies, and has contributed film reportage and reviews to such outlets as Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Video Business magazine and National Public Radio.