Continuing event – Dinner and a Movie

The Alarmist
Gypsy Cab Company continues to offer their popular “Dinner and a Movie” monthly event to benefit the St. Johns Cultural Council; the next performance is Monday June 23, 2008 with dinner starting at 6:00 p.m and the movie at 7:00 p.m.

After the buffet meal, guests will enjoy this months feature presentation, the 1998 movie “The Alarmist” according to an announcement provided to Historic City News from the Cultural Council.

In a review provided by Maitland McDonagh, the movie is described as a cynical farce about suspicion and greed, Evan Dunsky’s feature debut suggests an odd mix of GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS and BLUE VELVET.

Naïve but ambitious Tommy Hudler (David Arquette) finds his calling in door-to-door sales, peddling home-security systems under the tutelage of self-made man Heinrich Grigoris (Stanley Tucci), the kind of hale fellow well met you always vaguely suspect has body parts wrapped in black plastic in his freezer.

Tommy’s first sale is to sexy older woman Gale (Kate Capshaw), who buys an alarm system from him and then steals his heart; their relationship progresses with surprising smoothness, especially when you consider that her smart-alecky son Howard (Ryan Reynolds) is only slightly younger than Tommy.

The thorn in Tommy’s rose garden is Heinrich himself: The older man begins sharing some of the dicier tricks of the trade with his protégé, and eagle scout Tommy just isn’t comfortable with practices like staging fake break-ins to goose business.

He also begins to suspect Heinrich may be something far more dangerous than an amoral sharpie who preys on people’s exaggerated fears of random violence.

Unlike many so-called black comedies, which are simply weird and tasteless, this adaptation of Keith Reddin’s play Life During Wartime contains some genuine queasy laughs, alongside a few gags that fall dismally flat. David Arquette is particularly well-used: The weird disjunction between Arquette’s Norman Rockwell-ish looks and his twitchy mannerisms gives kindly go-getter Tommy an uneasy edge that smooths a descent into paranoia and Machiavellian cruelty that might otherwise seem forced and unconvincing.

He and Stanley Tucci have a brittle chemistry, old married couple banter crossed with testosterone-fueled competitiveness, which makes all their scenes together crackle uneasily with petty duplicity and potential betrayal.

Reservations please: 824-8244

Rated R
Parental Rating: Cautionary; some scenes objectionable
Country Of Origin: U.S.
Running Time: 93
Format: Color
Genre(s): Comedy; Crime; Drama
Production Co(s).: Bandeira Entertainment; Key Entertainment
Released By: Lions Gate Films