"I wrote 63 songs this year. They're all about Jeter." Just kidding. The game we love, the players we hate, and more.

Culture and Criticism

From Norman Mailer to Wendy Pepper — everything on film, TV, books, music, and snacks (shut up, raisins), plus the Girls' Bike Club.

Donors Choose and Contests

Helping public schools, winning prizes, sending a crazy lady in a tomato costume out in public.

Stories, True and Otherwise

Monologues, travelogues, fiction, and fart humor. And hens. Don't forget the hens.

The Vine

The Tomato Nation advice column addresses your questions on etiquette, grammar, romance, and pet misbehavior. Ask The Readers about books or fashion today!

Home » The Vine

The Vine: June 7, 2013

Submitted by on June 7, 2013 – 8:12 AM9 Comments


My friend and I watched this movie a few years ago and I've been thinking about it for some reason and I can't come up with the name and it's driving me crazy.

We watched it in probably 2003 or 2004 on DVD, and it didn't feel much older than that, so I would estimate it came out in the late '90s or early aughts. It had a very talky feel to it, like it might have been an play first. Pretty sure it was a small indie-type film. Almost the whole film is set at one table in a restaurant. It starts out with two guys at the restaurant chit-chatting, catching up on life. One of the guys had reddish curly hair and always had some kind of smile on his face, like he was perpetually in joke-telling mode. (I want to say that one of these guys might have actually penned the script, too?)

One of the guys (I forget which one) starts talking about his involvement with a married woman (foreshadowing!). At some point a married couple comes in. I want to say that the married couple appeared to know only one of the guys, but either way, they join them at their table. There's a lot more talking and stuff, and then at some point it comes out that this is the married woman the guy's having the affair with (and maybe the other original guy was shocked, because they acted like they didn't know each other?). I think the very last scene was the only one that wasn't in the restaurant, it was outside, and it was a fight scene (not fist-fighting, just yelling), where maybe the woman got dumped by both of the guys?

My friend and I spent a fair amount of time Googling stuff (and she is excellent with the Google-fu), and came up with nothing. The title might have had "dinner" in it? Or maybe that's too obvious. One of my searches came up with Dinner with Friends and I was like "that's it!", but it totally wasn't.

One last thing, I didn't recognize anyone in the movie at the time. They might be famous now, but at the time, at least, they weren't very well-known (though they could have been huge on the off-Broadway or indie-film circuit, for all I know).


Help me Obi Wan Tomato, you're my only hope


I saw this black and white movie back in the 1980s.

It was in French, although I can't remember if there were subtitles or not (I grew up in Belgium — it was showing on some channel that a bunch of school friends and I were watching in lieu of doing homework).

  • It was about aliens.
  • The aliens looked exactly like humans (cheap costume budget?).
  • The only way to tell an alien from a human was to hit it on the head, causing a metallic musical note to sound.
  • I kind of think that the aliens could somehow "infect" the humans and turn them into aliens, but I wouldn't swear to it.
  • At the end of the movie, the heros have vanquished the aliens and for some reason knock their own head, causing a metallic musical note. It fades to black with them all bonking themselves on the head with their fists and hearing the musical note.

Google tells me there are a LOT of movies about aliens…


Be Sociable, Share!



  • Katie says:

    Obi Wan Tomato- is it Melvin Goes to Dinner? It seems to fit the bill. There are some famous people in it but most weren't that famous in 2003.

  • attica says:

    My Dinner with Andre sounds like it fits Obi's query, except it's a bit older than the aughts, like 1981. Written by Wallace Shawn, who's worked as a character actor over the years (the "Inconceivable!" guy in Princess Bride), it's nearly all set in a restaurant, and pretty damn talky. I don't remember the bit about the breakup, so maybe I'm wrong.

  • Wehaf says:

    The first one is definitely not "My Dinner with Andre"; it does take place at a dinner table but the whole feeling is completely different from what Obi is describing. It is, however, a truly excellent movie and everyone should watch it.

  • Jen S 1.0 says:

    I'd try to figure these out but I'm too busy hitting myself in the head. I never knew my head could play Fur Elise.

  • Liz says:

    Obi here – I think that Melvin might be it! The guy with the curly hair is definitely the guy I was thinking of! I'm like 95% sure that its it. I'll have to watch it again to be 100%. Thanks, TN nation, I knew y'all would help! (My Dinner With Andre is still on my queue…)

  • O wow! My letter printed!!! Too bad no one seems to have seen my movie. Jen, your comment made me laugh, but each head played only one note :)

  • Sandman says:

    I think I would have liked Close Encounters of the Third Kind a lot more if the ending had involved making Richard Dreyfuss hit himself in the head repeatedly. It's no help to Mary, I realize, but I just wanted to put that out there.

  • Jess says:

    Mary, is it Le gendarme et les extra-terrestres? Here's the IMDb summary:

    The bungling inspector Cruchot (Funès) finds himself trying to save the residents of St. Tropez from some oil-drinking humanoid aliens. The only way to tell the aliens from the real people, besides their constant thirst for oil-products, is that they sound like empty garbage cans when you touch them. Chaos is ahead

  • That is totally it! And it's part of a series! Off to figure out how to find a copy…

    Fascinated that it's apparently in colour; guess it was the TV that was black and white

    Thanks so much :)

Leave a comment!

Please familiarize yourself with the Tomato Nation commenting policy before posting.
It is in the FAQ. Thanks, friend.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>