Restaurant | EW.com

Movies

Restaurant With his sleep-deprived eyes and oversize nose, Adrien Brody looks nothing like a leading man, yet that's exactly why he's such an intriguing movie...RestaurantDrama, RomancePT107MR With his sleep-deprived eyes and oversize nose, Adrien Brody looks nothing like a leading man, yet that's exactly why he's such an intriguing movie...2000-03-10Catherine KellnerJesse L. MartinMalcolm-Jamal WarnerCatherine Kellner, Jesse L. Martin, Malcolm-Jamal WarnerPalisades Pictures
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Restaurant

Genre: Drama, Romance; Starring: Adrien Brody, Elise Neal, Catherine Kellner, Jesse L. Martin, Malcolm-Jamal Warner; Director: Eric Bross; Author: Tom Ludworth; Producer (group): Chaiken Films, Giv'en Films, Palisades Pictures; Release Date Limited: 01/28/2000; Runtime (in minutes): 107; MPAA Rating: R; Distributor: Palisades Pictures

With his sleep-deprived eyes and oversize nose, Adrien Brody looks nothing like a leading man, yet that’s exactly why he’s such an intriguing movie star. Restaurant serves the Summer of Sam punk a made-to-order role as Chris Calloway, a lean and hungry playwright who tends bar at an upscale Hoboken, N.J., brasserie that employs success-starved artists. The staff also includes aspiring singer Jeannine (Elise Neal), an African-American waitress whom Chris romances.

Director Eric Bross’ drama confronts questions of race, sex, and class with disarming casualness. Despite dialogue that’s occasionally as generic as the title, Tom Cudworth’s script nails the ale-drenched details of twentysomething existence. Shot in 1997, the film offers dashes of Law & Order’s Jesse L. Martin (as a straight-shooting cook) and the Fugees’ Lauryn Hill, who brings more vigor to her few scenes as Chris’ pregnant ex-girlfriend than Neal does to the entire movie. Had their roles been reversed, Restaurant might have felt like more than just an hors d’oeuvre.