TBTo the Screen

"Diner" (1982)

The year is 1959. Five young men are learning life. Lawrence (Daniel Stern) is married, proudly wearing a gold band on his finger. Robert (Mickey Rourke) is trying to get his hand up long tweed skirts of preppy blonde girls. Eddie (Steven Guttenberg) gives his bride-to-be a football quiz and if she doesn’t pass it, he won’t be marrying her. The football quiz was mentioned so many times, you would think the girl was studying for the bar exam. There is Modell (Paul Reiser) who is the cutie patootie guy friend who may always just be the friend. Timothy (Kevin Bacon) is the tag along trust fund kid who wants to be rebellious but needs to calm down. Billy (Tim Daly) is getting his MBA and could rock a long coat.

All of the friends reunite at the Hilltop Diner.

Beth, Lawrence’s wife, is very irritating. She wants to be the wife who can hang with the guys but she tries too hard. Then, there was an argument between Beth and Lawrence and with a quick curl of the lip, I realized Beth was Ellen Barkin. Boy did Ellen look different! With that argument, you begin to see the rift in each of the boys’ friendship as they continue to grow into men.

“Diner” is a true character study in a one city setting: Baltimore. It seems as through every old school film is set in Baltimore. Watching Robert explain to a girl he wants to touch his pecker why he was feeling nervous about the incident involving her and said pecker is pure perfection that was delivered with suavity by Mickey Rourke. Barry Levinson wrote and directed the film. It was great that the credits played at the end of the film as it wasn’t a distraction.