top of page

Diner (1982)

This film is dry, slow and truthfully, not too much happens between the start and end of the film; however, I truly enjoyed it. The simple relationships and the innocence of each of the characters made the film enjoyable. Like the diner was a place of solace, a place to loosen up and let go of the harsh realities, for the characters, this film was a great chance to relax and appreciate the little things (the most important things) in life. A great cast of actors assembled to bring simplicity to the big screen. The combination of Steve Guttenberg’s Edward ‘Eddie’ Simmons, Daniel Stern’s Laurence ‘Shrevie’ Schreiber, Kevin Bacon’s Timothy Fenwick Jr. and the rest of the ensemble present the audience with innocence, dry humor, real life issues and ways of dealing with those normal, everyday, problems. This film, in many ways, is a simplistic version of bildungsroman. The aforementioned characters are slowly finding their way in the world, discovering what works and what doesn’t, what makes them happy and what causes more problems than it’s worth. These young, outstanding, actors so smoothly presented these ideas to the audience in a way that left an impression. Writer and director, Barry Levinson, gave the world a very down to earth representation of these daily struggles and I believe that is the reason that allowed the audience to accept, so gracefully, what was being fed to them. Among the cast, I felt that Guttenberg’s Eddie was the most enjoyable character of the bunch. He was whiney, he griped and moaned about every little thing that happened throughout the course of the film and his constant need to come to terms and understand everything about his life made him intriguing. Eddie was an everyman that really brought to light the realities of becoming an adult and successfully represented the struggle of trying to find happiness. By the end of the film, I felt that each character had successfully found happiness; not contentment, but true happiness in one way or another. Through simplicity, realism and great casting, I thought that Levinson (along with the help of his casting director, Ellen Chenoweth, and the rest of his crew) perfectly announces to the world that life is difficult, but everything will be okay. He tells the world that it’s not your struggles that define you but the people you surround yourself with and how you pick yourself up when you’ve been knocked down.



bottom of page