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TOP 100 MOVIES in 2000!
DINNER RUSH, 2000
Cast: Danny Aiello, John Rothman, Frank Bongiorno, Lexie Sperduto, Zainab Jah, Alex Corrado, Mike McGlone
The film follows one night in a trendy restaurant with interlocking stories from various people and the owner may have connections with the mob.
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A lot can happen in one night especially in the city and only in New York can a mobster murder bring in more business for a trendy restaurant in Tribeca. Dinner Rush is a charming, smart and savvy drama with plenty of compelling characters with interlocking stories that mirror the films of Robert Altman. The story takes place over one night in two different places: in the upper level where the customers are dining and in the lower level where the chefs are preparing their meals.
Danny Aiello plays Louis an owner of a trendy and successful restaurant in Tribeca that has gradually changed its menu to suit that of the typical trendy dining places in New York, which mean no more sausages and onions. This new development comes from Louisís son Udo, who is the head chef determined to not only reinvent his fatherís restaurant but become the owner as well.
But while Louis and Udo are at odds with their ideas concerning their establishment, the other son, Duncan, is in serious debt. A constant gambler, Duncan now owes money to two mob associates who come into the restaurant not only looking for their money but for a piece of the restaurant as well. They tell Louis that they have no intention of leaving until theyíre partners in the food business, which Louis is quick to decline stating that they can never have the restaurant. To Louis it represents everything.
Itís been part of his family since his grandfather ran the business and has never been associated with mob in any way. Aiello is truly a great actor, one who shows up every now and again in mainstream films but has also found a niche in indie pictures that allow him to demonstrate his skills as an actor.
Heís low key but effective. His quiet demeanor hides his resentment and frustration towards his sons, but more so, towards the two guys trying to intimidate him into giving up a percentage of his establishment. Yet Louis, his sons, and the mobsters are only a select few of the characters present in the film. The ensemble cast is all excellent in their parts respectively.
Against the backdrop, there are compelling scenes with the restaurant employees and the patrons most notably from Summer Phoenix who plays Marti, an aspiring artist who is belittle by a snobby art dealer. Her artwork is hanging up in the restaurant as a way to get her name out there, but the dealer canít help but criticize not realizing that the artist is the one serving him. However, when he does his opinion does not change and his apology, which was coaxed by his friend sitting beside him, is less than heartfelt.
The rest of the cast is excellent but Aiello really stands out the most. He dominates his scenes through his quiet and mellow performance and the script is witty and smart. Dinner Rush is a charming and compelling film with unique and captivating characters and engaging storylines.