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Loglines
A punk arsonist runs from the cops and fights with his band while falling for a punk fan looking for her purpose.
When a punk rocker meets a girl obsessed with his band while running from the cops, the two of them form a strange relationship.
When a punk rocker runs into a girl with a slight intellectual disability, while on the run from the police, he tricks her family into letting him hide at her house, discovering surprising similarities during their time together.
A troubled punk rocker and an oddball woman obsessed with his band unexpectedly cross paths and travel through Midwestern suburbia in order to attend a concert.
Format
Genres
Comedy, Music, Black Comedy, Romance, Coming of Age, Concert, Criminal, Drugs, Heartwarming, Journey, Performer, Rock 'n' Roll, Secret Identity, Singer, Slice of Life, Small Town, Social Commentary, Troubled Youth
Pages
114
Rated
R
Budget
Low
Lead
M White 20 Attractive
Similar
Napoleon Dynamite, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Trainspotting, Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist, Babyteeth
When
Present, About one week. Brief timeskip to 13 months later.
Where
100% in Midwestern suburbia. Major locations include two suburban homes, one apartment complex, a bus, and a bus stop. Other locations are a laboratory, research office, pet store, alley, bank, post office, arcade, convenience store, bar, motel room, police car, diner, pick up truck, junior college, burger restaurant, auto body shop/punk rock concert venue, and prison.

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Synopsis
In a laboratory, SIMON (Adult), a handsome stoner, participates in an experiment as a professional guinea pig. Simon gets paid less than he expected for the experiments. Later, BETH (Adult), another lab rat, invites Simon over for dinner and for sex. At dinner, Beth reveals she is a nymphomaniac and seduces Simon in front of her entire lifeless family. Later, Beth's mom, BETTY (Adult), makes out with Simon, but Beth catches them. The family tries to attack him, but Simon escapes through the window and sets their lawn on fire. Meanwhile, PATTY SHALK (20), a misfit, eats at a bus stop and is verbally harassed by two junior college jocks. At home, Patty has dinner with her family and asks her mom if she can go to “The Alliance” concert, but her Mom says no. Simon get drugs at an apartment. At the post office, Simon gets punk rock decorated letters that are all addressed to John Q. He becomes elated when he says a black envelope. Later, at a convenience store, Simon sells drugs to the clerk, EARL JR. (Adult). In an alley, Simon sells speed to Mexicans, but they almost don't pay. Then, BUCK (Adult), a tough guy,...
Reader 1 Comments
OVERALL (RECOMMEND)
In “Dinner in America,” Simon, a punk arsonist, falls for Patty, an odd punk fan who is helping him hide from the cops. Simon is an engaging protagonist whose impulsivity and abrasiveness impairs his ability to hide from the police. Simon’s internal conflict between liking Patty and not taking her seriously progresses as they spend time together. The tone is consistently darkly funny. The dialogue often feels stylized, which contributes to the tone and helps explore the societal themes the premise introduces. “Dinner in America” blends stories of crime, music, and love to tell an original journey of two people who struggle to connect with others connecting with each other....
Reader 2 Comments
OVERALL (CONSIDER)
After a punk rocker has one too many run-ins with the law, he meets a girl obsessed with his music. When he agrees to take her to a concert, a spark forms between the two of them, causing an unexpected relationship. The two main characters are compelling and carry the weight of the story well – no matter what’s going on, it’s always interesting just to be around them. The main conflicts could be more prevalent throughout, rather than showing themselves in bits and pieces, which could be solved with a slight tweak of the structure. It thrives off of its strange tone, embracing the darkness in comedy while also finding light moments within its drama....
Reader 3 Comments
OVERALL (CONSIDER)
When Simon, a punk rocker, runs into Patty, a girl with a slight intellectual disability, while on the run from the police, he tricks her family into letting him hide at her house, discovering surprising similarities during their time together. Simon is a compelling and well-defined protagonist whose arc is elevated by that of Patty. Their effective character dynamics make Simon and Patty’s internal conflict compelling as well, but the external conflict can lack focus. Scene order issues and a high number of subplots can also distract the throughline. Regardless, the snappy and witty dialogue, which is full of subtext, combines with the hilariously crude set pieces to make “Dinner In America” an effective dark comedy with well-written, creative, and comical imagery....
Reader 4 Comments
OVERALL (Consider)
“Dinner in America” is a hilarious black comedy about a fugitive punk rocker named Simon and a misfit named Patty who worships his band. The two unexpectedly fall in love and travel through midwestern suburbia to attend a punk rock concert. The premise may be engaging, but it is not discernible and struggles to cultivate tension. The characters are extremely unique and memorable; however, Simon—the protagonist—lacks proactiveness and dimensions. The dialogue perfectly captures both the punk rock and suburban subcultures and often employs rich subtext. Due to the slice of life tone, the throughline struggles to develop and advance, and many beats occur at improper times and without the proper development. The writing is electric while the conflict—both external and internal—are not present enough to keep the protagonist under constant duress. In all, the strengths of “Dinner in America” outweigh its noticeable weaknesses, but if these weaknesses are resolved, there is no doubt that “Dinner in America” will become the next cult classic, a classic that all misfits will cherish and one that will warm the coldest heart....