The title says it all – not long after a couple character intros are made, Melvin goes to dinner at a Los Angeles restaurant to meet up with a few friends, one old, two new. A couple bottles of wine are consumed as the topic of conversation floats from the supernatural to religion, but things really start heating up when masturbation and taking it in the a*s are thrown on the table. Finally, each one of these people feels the need to tell a deep, dark secret. Leave it to anal sex to get folks to open up.
Directed by Bob Odenkirk, “Melvin Goes to Dinner” is vastly different than anything the comedian/filmmaker has done in “Mr. Show.” No worries, though. “Melvin” has a crude sense of humor that can be linked with Odenkirk’s past work and there are also cameos by David Cross and Jack Black…hilarious ones at that. Thing is with “Melvin,” it’s not as nutty as “Mr. Show.” There aren’t any white trash hesher burnouts to giggle at. Mostly what we have here is the conversation between these four friends to keep our attention, a scene occasionally illustrating their colorful stories. Excellently written and directed, there’s no problem with these characters keeping an audience’s attention. Huzzah! Odenkirk makes one hell of a filmmaker.
But as entertaining as this film is, audience members may find themselves bummed that they can’t jump in and lend their own two cents. Consequently, this film may encourage some of you to leave your hermit hole to gather with a few old friends you haven’t seen in a while to swap stories and just basically enjoy one another’s company.