Diner (1982)

One of the best places to hang out no matter how old you get is always going to be, the diner.

Set in 1959 Baltimore, writer-director Barry Levinson’s debut film focuses on a group of pals on the brink of adulthood who find solace at the local diner. The late-night banter between groom-to-be Eddie (Steve Guttenberg), best man Billy (Tim Daly), womanizer Boogie (Mickey Rourke), music addict Shrevie (Daniel Stern) and quirky Modell (Paul Reiser) ranges from girls to growing up and getting old. Ellen Barkin and Kevin Bacon also appear.

This movie defines nostalgia…and who doesn’t think about the past…past friendships and experiences…mostly with a smile. It brings you back to a good old time that you used to have with your buddies always discussing topics about life.

This film is not necessarily a coming-of-age film as much as it is a period piece about these friends and their lives. There is one attitude that goes around this film that isn’t very talked about is the fear of women. There are these movies that show these macho guys going around drinking beer, driving motorcycles, and always having a good time. However, in Diner this attitude is a lot more perceptive, these guys are afraid of women and they see them as an undiscovered country as seen by many scenes in this film.

The writing from Barry Levinson in this film is just superb. He really does show he has a knack for hilarious but at the same true realistic dialogue. Many lines in this film are funny, that also go along with the scenes and make the scenes a lot more better, than you would expect.

One of the most extraordinary things that the film does is that we feel like we know these characters our whole lives. Levinson directs the film in a way so that everybody involved in this film gets a chance to show who they are and their personalities. Its one of those films that I actually felt like I understood who these people were, when the film was over.

The one problem I had with this film was that some scenes were very memorable but their weren’t just enough of those memorable scenes. I think the one problem is that the film does lag at points to where it gets borderline boring, but not enough to totally throw my attention away.

The acting by this very young cast is what makes it even better. Out of the whole cast Mickey Rourke is the best I can name. He is a total womanizer having no feelings for the chicks in general, just their bodies, but by the end of the film he makes a great transition to where you see him as a sympathetic heartfelt guy, and I think as charming as he is in this performance, he does one of the best jobs.

Consensus: Diner does lag at points, but has wonderful dialogue, charming performances, and realistic attitudes about life that bring you back to great times in your life that you remember the most and cherish.



  1. So – my three favorite Starbucks in Manhattan – at Bond and Broadway, at 17th and Union Square, at 39th and 8th – always remind me of Diner. Why is that? At first blush it seems these types of hangouts are quite different. Of course, they are. I’ll confess that when I’m in one of these places I’m not, like the ensemble six of Diner, debating the relative merits of Mathis vs. Sinatra or engaging in braggadocio about how I can get a girl to grab my pecker on our first date – but I certainly see groups of young men who are the 2014 versions of these guys.

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