People really love dinners. I wish I watched The Dinner to go along with this as a mini-theme, but The Dinner never really fell on my radar.
At the very least, by now I should have watched My Dinner With Andre. One day.
With Beatriz At Dinner, I know we can expect a few things. We can expect some food, we can expect the food being at someplace unexpected, and we can expect at least one person named Beatriz. Maybe two, if we are lucky.
Oh hey! There she is! Beatriz at the Dinner!
Beatriz (Salma Hayek) is having a hard time. She is a spiritual healer, and massage therapist, trying to help people through medical issues and emotional issues. But she is lonely and depressed. She lives alone with her animals, but her goat was recently killed by a neighbor for being annoying. That is pretty messed up. Her goddamn goat!
She still has a job to do and she heads to one of her client’s houses. She is late to Kathy (Connie Britton) thanks to traffic, but she gets in a quick session before Kathy has to get ready for a dinner party. When Beatriz tries to leave, her car will not start. Her only real option is to call on her friend to come and fix it, but he won’t be there until he gets out of work.
Kathy is kind and loves Beatriz though. So she invites her to stay for the dinner, she insists (with her husbands (David Warshofsky) permission). She isn’t dressed up fancy, but it is okay, because Beatriz is like family.
Beatriz quickly realizes that these people are not living in the same world she is living in. This is especially true about Doug (John Lithgow), a real estate mogul, and the person this whole dinner party is celebrating.
Also featuring Jay Duplass, Amy Landecker, Chloë Sevigny, John Early, and Enrique Castillo.
And this is Beatriz as the After Dinner entertainment.
I expected a lot of subtlety in this film. Or a lot of under the table insults. Metaphorically, not literally. You know, backhanded compliments. Maybe some political debates. Maybe just…anything.
But what I got felt like a whole lot of nothing. Sure, Beatriz is a tragic character. We will feel sorry for her and we know she is in the right. And all of the rich people suck, some more than others, with the reasons varying. And yet it still feels like not a lot happens.
Beatriz never really gets a mic drop type statement. We get a lot of almost situations that never seem to go far enough. The commentary they are making based on how things play out is obvious, but it is bleak and totally unnecessary. And the ending is just downright dreadful, all aspects of it. I just feel like I was teased and then pooped on. Would certainly never want to see this again. Although sure, Hayek and Lithgow carried the film in their own ways, they just felt wasted on the script and the plot.
1 out of 4.