CATEGORIES Comedy, Drama, Fandom, Trailers and Clips, Trailers and Clips, Scenes We Love, CinematicalThere are many reasons to love Dylan Kidd's debut feature film Roger Dodger. It boasts a script (written by Kidd) filled with dialogue that feels as though it were channeled from Tarantino and a young Kevin Smith, it has a career-defining performance from Campbell Scott, and Jesse Eisenberg's portrayal of a nerdy teen hadn't yet become cliché. It's the sort of smart, snappy, dialogue-driven film that we don't seem to see enough of.
The story of Roger Dodger revolves around Campbell Scott's Roger, a smooth-talking New York copywriter with an answer for everything. The film spans one night, chronicling the arrival of Roger's nephew Nick (Eisenberg) from Ohio. Nick has sought out his uncle's advice on how to score with girls, which may be a mistake since Roger can barely contain his contempt for the women he chases after in his every waking moment. The two spend an evening together -- Nick, the attentive pupil and Roger, the angry teacher who might not have his student's best interests at heart.
We get hints that maybe Roger's worldview isn't what Nick should be using as a guide for his interactions with the opposite sex regularly, but this particular scene stands out because it provides another glimpse into his way of thinking. Roger has taken the lessons outside, setting up his classroom on a busy New York street. Here, as countless people move in and out of frame, Scott expounds on how "sex is everywhere" and as a man it's an almost sacred duty to pick up on the signs. It's a lengthy lecture that covers lots of ground -- how to use lighting and reflective surfaces to your advantage, the importance of excellent peripheral vision, how to sneak peeks at girls without getting caught. Kidd shoots it in what appears to be one take (it's hard to be 100% positive on that since there are a lot of things moving through the foreground that could hide a few edits), the dialogue is memorable and Scott ties it all together with a performance that features subtle character revelations hidden amongst all the histrionics.