In college, Dex (Donal Logue) was the man. He had the women and the grades and the party never stopped. By the time the ten year reunion rolls around, Dex has graduated from the school, but not the lifestyle. A fat slob living with his stoner buddies and teaching kindergarten, he’s still the smartest guy around and still gets the ladies. Dex gets a little motivation at the reunion in the form of Syd (Greer Goodman), a theatre designer and drummer that embodies everything our anti-hero wants. Unfortunately, Dex was too high and/or drunk in college to even remember Syd.
Complicating matters is the code of male/female interaction Dex has defined as “The Tao of Steve”. You know, like Steve McQueen, Steve McGarrett, whatever. This set of rules allows someone who looks like Dex to get just about any woman he wants, except, of course, for Syd. The only way he has any chance with her is to get his act together, and this means violating every rule of conduct Dex has ever created.
The entire character of Dex was based upon co-writer Duncan North. Following graduation from film school, director/co-writer Jenniphr Goodman moved in with North in their hometown of Santa Fe and became fascinated with his antics and personality. Once Jenniphr dragged sister/actress/co-writer Greer from New York, the three came up with the script for this movie.
…and, it’s pretty good. Basically “Ferris Bueller” fifteen years later, Logue (who gained 30 lbs. and wore a fat suit) is fantastic in an exploration of what it means to be both a true individual and a grown-up. The Goodman sisters are both excellent with their combined film debut. As I myself am newly married and the approximate age of the characters, I know it’s not so easy to find your own path of growth and still not end up bitter with wife, kids, and mortgage like mom and dad. This film was another audience favorite at the 2K Sundance Film Festival. “The Tao of Steve” could probably take itself a little less seriously and found a few more light-hearted potshots at Dex and his stoner crew. Still, unlike much of what’s on view at film festivals, the filmmakers remembered to make their movie entertaining.