Campbell Scott as the smooth-talking Roger puts on a mesmerizingly manipulative show in the electrifyingly incorrect battle of the sexes that is "Roger Dodger."
By DAVID N. BUTTERWORTH
Roger is a suave, witty, smooth-talking ladykiller. He's also an unbelievable jerk, yet our sympathies are almost entirely with him in "Roger Dodger," an electrifying film debut from writer/director Dylan Kidd.
It might be the suaveness or the smoothness or the wit, but it also has a lot to do with Campbell Scott, who's sensational in the title role, forever talking, forever plotting, always having an angle, a hook, a line for getting any pretty young thing he wants to come home with him. He's outrageous but his very outrageousness appeals to us how does he get away with all this politically incorrect stuff?
|Written and directed by: Dylan Kidd.|
Cast: Campbell Scott, Jesse Eisenberg, Isabella Rossellini, Elizabeth Berkley, Jennifer Beals, Mina Badie, Ben Shenkman, Chris Stack..
Related links: All of David N. Butterworth's reviews at Rotten Tomatoes
Well, he doesn't always although he tells his 16-year-old nephew Nick (Jesse Eisenberg), who shows up at the New York advertising office where Roger works one afternoon and begs to be taught the tricks of the trade, that he scores every single night.
Kidd's film is claustrophobic. He films much of the talky stuff up close and personal, with a slightly shaky handheld camera so you feel as though you're right there in the nightclub bars with the cigarette smoke curling and the vodka martinis flowing and the con man conning. This approach vastly adds to the whole "Roger Dodger" experience. Not only is Scott razor-sharp and remarkable as the titular dodger but Eisenberg makes the perfect foil, an awkward, nervous teenager who opens up from time to time but for the most part, like the audience, is almost completely overwhelmed by Roger's take on anything and everything.
Strong female support is provided by Isabella Rossellini (as Roger's boss) plus Jennifer Beals and Elizabeth Berkley as an unusually accommodating pair that Roger and Nick pick up.
|NOVEMBER 19, 2002|
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