Film review: Roger Dodger (2002)


Love the energy in this independent film. To me this is a criminally overlooked low-budget masterpiece from 2002.

The main character, Roger, is nicknamed Roger Dodger. He’s a businessman, living in New York, is not particularly likeable, but has great verbal skills.
He is too afraid to look at his own problems and flaws, so is intent to study and comment on other people.
For example he acuses a woman of sleeping with her boss, but he is doing the exact same thing himself.
He attempts to predict the future of others, but is unable to predict his own. You get the feeling he is very cynical, doesn’t love himself, and is taking out his frustration with life on everybody else.

The film depicts a day in the life of Roger, his nephew sees him as a ladies man, and they go out on the town, so Roger can teach him a few tricks about seducing women.


You’ve heard of self-help books. Well, this is like a “not to do” behavioural guide. The film’s strength in my opinion is the very quotable script and also the acting.

Roger Dodger is highly recommended. I’ve seen it twice and I still feel I could watch it again, as I may have missed something. Both funny and insightful. The Roger character may relate in some way to the comic strip character Roger Dodger, although I don't know, I've never read that comic.

Here is the opening scene, which is similar to the opening of Reservoir dogs, starting off with a discussion in a restaurant.

To me at least, the similar Michael Douglas vechicle Solitary man (2010) was an inferior rip-off with a weaker script.

You need to see Roger Dodger, if you call yourself a fan of independent films. I usually only call a movie a favourite of mine, if it holds up on the 2nd viewing. This is certainly one of my favourite indies.

If you decide to watch this film, let me know in the comments what you think ( :

Trailer

IMDB

Rottentomatoes

8 comments:

  1. Campbell Scott was robbed of a Best Actor Oscar nomination for this!

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  2. duly queued up. I've never heard of this film, but it sounds right up my alley, thanks!

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  3. @ Colin:
    Hope you enjoy Roger Dodger. I agree with your lukewarm reaction to "Solitary man" of 6/10. Funny thing is, Jesse Eisenberg plays almost the exact same role in both films. I see what you mean about "Scent of a Woman" being similar.

    @ Burning reels:
    I agree, Campbell Scott was great, he was born to play this role ( : I 've never seen him in anything else, strangely enough. I see on IMDB he's in Spring Forward (1999), which is on my "to see list", "Good will hunting" kind of film (and poster).

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  4. M&S, Campbell Scott's been around for years. Check out The Spanish Prisoner (I love Mamet movies) or the admittedly dated but still sorta fun Singles.

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  5. @Colin:
    Thanks for recommendations. I saw Singles a long time ago, pretty good dialogue I remember. "Spanish Prisoner" trailer didn't look like my cup of tea.

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  6. Well, I saw it today. Excellent recommendation, I really enjoyed it. It owes a lot to Mamet, I'd say (so you really should try The Spanish Prisoner or indeed any of his), but as I love Mamet movies then this was well worthwhile. Thanks for the heads up!

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  7. I'm so glad you recommended this to me! After I saw it, I immediately ordered it from Amazon.com. The script is so entertaining and Campbell Scott's delivery of some very complex dialogue is stunning.

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  8. @ M. Carter @ the Movies : I love when my recommendations work, that's partly why my blog exists really ( :

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