Dinner Rush

A nicely shaped script by Chicagoans Rick Shaughnessy and Brian Kalata makes this independent comedy drama (2000) a pleasure to watch. Directed by restaurateur Bob Giraldi, it unfolds over a winter evening at an Italian restaurant in Manhattan’s Tribeca (though it was originally set in Chicago). Danny Aiello stars as the owner, who’s the father of the nouvelle cuisine chef (Edoardo Ballerini). Others on the staff include Kirk Acevedo and Summer Phoenix; among the restaurant guests are an art critic (Mark Margolis), a restaurant reviewer (Sandra Bernhard), and a couple of crooks trying to muscle in on the business. The action is nicely paced, and the story has a very satisfying payoff. With Vivian Wu, Mike McGlone, John Corbett, and Polly Draper. 98 min. (JR)

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