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My Dinner With André
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My Dinner With André

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  241 ratings  ·  18 reviews
"My Dinner with Andre" is a passionate, volatile, and humorous encounter between two friends who have not seen each other for a long time, and decide to catch up on each others' lives over dinner. Andre Gregory is an intense, highly experimental theater director and playwright in search of life's meanings and spiritual revelations. His friend, Wally Shawn, is an actor and ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published January 7th 1994 by Grove Press (first published January 7th 1981)
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Community Reviews

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notgettingenough
Later.

It would be easy to see this in a bad light, dominated as it is by the experiences of Andre. Andre is rich, privileged enough to be able to afford a mid-life crisis where he doesn't have to work and can travel the world rejecting everything he has so far achieved as an artist. Wallace, whom he is trying to convince that this is the right path, is a poor struggling playwright.

As Andre tells him it is bad to feel warm in one's apartment in winter - how can one tell one is alive? -, Wallace
...more
Nicholas Montemarano
Excellent movie... but this book, which I've read several times, is one of my favorite reading experiences ever. It's the kind of book I have to reread every few years just to keep me creatively honest. At times absurdly funny, at other times so dead serious that it might change your life, as hyperbolic as that may sound.
Janet
A far ranging, howlingly funny, oddly moving, philosophically quite serious conversation between two men, speaking as themselves, the actor Wallace Shawn and the director Andre Gregory...This dialogue, between the seeker after transcendence, the wildly traveled and creatively risk-embracing avant-garde personallty of Gregory, "and the 'ordinary man,' Shawn, enjoying his friend's adventures but arguing for the philosophy of immanence: "Tell me, why do we require a trip to Mount Everest in order t ...more
Karen
GreaT movie if you don't mind watching people talk over dinner the entire time. I really enjoyed the movie and wanted to remember the dialogue better, so I read the play. The sheer number of times they said "I mean" exceeded, I am sure, legal limits and became insidiously monotonous after the first 10 pages. Otherwise, I found some interesting insights into life and our society towards the end. This was a great refresher on the movie which I believe is word for word with the play.
Gabriel
Changed my life.
matt
I picked this up at a used bookstore out of sheer desperation having never seen the actual film (though Criterion recently announced its re-release for June). I've never really understood why anyone would want to read a screenplay, thinking back to the once ubiquitous vendors in the city growing up hawking brightly colored xerox pages (these must still exist somewhere in Union Square). If the demand is that to spawn an illegal industry surely there must be something to it? Reading this did littl ...more
Tamar
I saw this movie several times when I was younger and decided to read the screenplay, which is sort of funny since the movie is just the two guys sitting across from each other talking. What's interesting is that it was written in 1981, and they were talking about how theater and culture was dead back then, and people keep talking about theater and painting and culture dying. I think this is a great conversation between two serious theater people, but it's pretty bleak and more than a little sel ...more
Corinne
I don't normally enjoy reading plays all that much, but this quick read was actually quite enjoyable. It offered many thought provoking questions about life and how we choose to live. Do we choose to live as robots and simply accept the thoughts and actions that the media tries to feed us? How can one find true fulfillment in life when you are told what to think, say, and feel? If there was ever a book to make you question human survival and what it means to survive versus what it means to truly ...more
Deke
By turns brilliant and clumsily overreaching, yet an important stab at bigger issues via an unusual medium.

My favorite passage comes from the foreword by Andre Gregory: "Why do we have so few mature artists? Trying to answer this question, we began to speculate that your early years, say your twenties, should be all about learning - learning how to do it, how to say it, learning to master the tools of your craft; having learned the techniques, then your next several years, say your thirties, sho
...more
Gregory Knapp
For me, this book is beyond criticism.

As Randall Jarrell said of Leaves of Grass, whatever its faults, they "do not matter."

The movie and the screenplay have been one of the touchstone pieces of art in my life since I first saw the film in the theatre in 1981.
Ben Loory
ANDRE: So they understood what it was about. I mean, that of course poses the question of what was it about. But it was something to do with living.
Darin Strachan
Reading this screenplay is even better than watching the movie. As a conversation between two friends, this screenplay is full of honesty.
Sowmya
I read a book which had "My dinner with Andre" and "Mary and Bruce". Thoroughly enjoyed reading "My dinner with..." despite the fact that I already watched some parts of the movie multiple times in the past 3 weeks.
Alex
Mar 31, 2012 Alex rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: drama
I first saw this film when I was in my 20s and it left quite an impression. Reading the screenplay is just as affective because the entire film is based on a conversation in a restaurant between Wallace Shawn & Andre Gregory.
Ruta Sevo
This is a screenplay for one of my favorite movies. ncludes photos from the movie. If you like fascinating conversation with someone who's been in some strange places and tells a good story over dinner, this is it.
Steven
Surprised by how highly rated this is. It's just 1 pretentious guy and his humorous, good-mannered friend isn't it?
Pam
It's the screenplay of the movie with very short intros by the two authors. It made for a cool movie.
Joe
Mar 12, 2008 Joe rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Joe by: James Marks
This book is very fun to read, it is a great idea for a movie. For me it leaves no lasting impact.
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Wallace Shawn, sometimes credited as Wally Shawn, is an American actor and playwright. Regularly seen on film and television, where he is usually cast as a comic character actor, he has pursued a parallel career as a playwright whose work is often dark, politically charged and controversial. He is widely known for his high-pitched nasal voice and slight lisp.
More about Wallace Shawn...
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“ANDRÉ: Okay. Yes. We’re bored now. We’re all bored. But has it ever occurred to you, Wally, that the process which creates this boredom that we see in the world now may very well be a self-perpetuating unconscious form of brainwashing created by a world totalitarian government based on money? And that all of this is much more dangerous, really, than one thinks? And that it’s not just a question of individual survival, Wally, but that somebody who’s bored is asleep? And somebody who’s asleep will not say no?” 2 likes
“ANDRÉ: . . . And when I was at Findhorn I met this extraordinary English tree expert who had devoted himself to saving trees, and he’d just got back from Washington lobbying to save the Redwoods. And he was eighty-four years old, and he always travels with a backpack because he never knows where he’s going to be tomorrow. And when I met him at Findhorn he said to me, “Where are you from?” And I said, “New York.” And he said, “Ah, New York, yes, that’s a very interesting place. Do you know a lot of New Yorkers who keep talking about the fact that they want to leave, but never do?” And I said, “Oh, yes.” And he said, “Why do you think they don’t leave?” And I gave him different banal theories. And he said, “Oh, I don’t think it’s that way at all.” He said, “I think that New York is the new model for the new concentration camp, where the camp has been built by the inmates themselves, and the inmates are the guards, and they have this pride in this thing that they’ve built—they’ve built their own prison—and so they exist in a state of schizophrenia where they are both guards and prisoners. And as a result they no longer have—having been lobotomized—the capacity to leave the prison they’ve made or even to see it as a prison.” And then he went into his pocket, and he took out a seed for a tree, and he said, “This is a pine tree.” And he put it in my hand. And he said, “Escape before it’s too late.” 0 likes
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