The Dish & the Spoon (2011)

dir. Alison Bagnall

It is genuinely difficult to sum up The Dish & the Spoon in mere words, but some options would include: hideous; disgusting; offensive; baffling; infuriating. The story – far too kind a word – follows late-twenty-something Rose, played by mumblecore darling Greta Gerwig, who’s just discovered her husband has been having an affair. The film pretty quickly establishes Rose as entirely unhinged, as she screams and wails down the phone incoherently and makes frequent threats of violence. Then she discovers an English boy (Olly Alexander), clarified to be definitely over 18 but definitely under 21, and sort of pseudo-adopts him as a plaything. The boy, who’s been jilted by a girlfriend, clearly has no money or any real options at all, and is helpless as he goes along with dressing up, fishing, participating in fake wedding photos, and lying in a burial plot, all at Rose’s absolutely catastrophic whims. If the audience is meant to relate to Rose as a meandering millennial heroine then this doesn’t work at all, as she’s so detestable from start to finish. The age and power difference between the two characters makes any attempt at charm or affection an utter, utter failure. Case in point: the boy in the lighthouse never even gets a name in this film. If the audience is actually supposed to hate Rose, then mission swiftly accomplished, but there’s no joy to be had in sitting through ninety minutes of her relentless garbage. This film should quite frankly never have been made,

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