Roger Dodger This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     “Roger Dodger” is Dylan Kidd’s (writer, director, producer) dark, poignant, dialogue-driven romp through the decadent social scene of a night-life mogul. The plot is simple: After being dumped by his girlfriend/boss, Roger Swanson (Campbell Scott) is visited by his less-than-cool 16-year-old nephew, Nick (Jesse Eisenberg) who, in turn, asks his playboy uncle for help with the ladies.

Throughout the subsequent night, Roger “Dodger” Swanson helps his nerdy nephew. Whether it be a gorgeously written scene with socialites Andrea and Sophie (Elizabeth Berkley and Jennifer Beals) in an upscale bar conversing with the guys, or a complex but candid dialogue between them, the writing and direction never lets the viewer become bored.

The story and performances are immaculate. Kidd’s insight into relationships, specifically the life of a lone shark in a city full of fish, is so captivating that you’ll wish many of the scenes’ dialogues were longer. You’ll instantly have a love/hate relationship with Roger, whose brutal honesty and dissolute vices make him unbelievably alluring and perversely charming. Eisenberg’s performance as the shy, twitchy Nick is beautiful and unabashedly honest.

Roger’s analytical forays and Nick’s honesty are totally apparent, despite cinematographer Joaquin Baca-Asay’s attempt to destroy this film by extensive use of hand-held steadicams to make the viewer feel as if they are inside the film. It does at times annotate the emotions of the characters or the scene, but, for the most part, it’s a cliché attempt at being original. This is the only real downside to the film. The music, production and editing, on the other hand, are all topnotch.

“Roger Dodger” proves to be a wondrous, chilling look at the pitfalls and perils of single life, of relationships and honesty; of an absolute, sordid truth that makes one re-evaluate oneself.



This movie is rated R.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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