Watch Roger Dodger
- 1 hr 46 min
Roger Dodger, directed by Dylan Kidd and released in 2002, is a movie about the ups and downs of being a womanizer. It explores the life of Roger Swanson (Campbell Scott), a successful advertising executive who seems to have it all - good looks, wit, charm, and a way with the ladies. However, his world is turned upside down when his boss, Joyce (Isabella Rossellini), assigns him the task of training his younger nephew, Nick (Jesse Eisenberg), to pick up girls.
The film opens with Roger at work, receiving a phone call from his girlfriend, whom he promptly dumps. He is the biggest player in town, and he knows it. He takes Nick out to a bar to show him the ropes and to teach him the art of seduction. Roger is convinced that it's all about confidence and slick talk, while Nick is more reserved and awkward around women.
As they hit up different bars, they encounter various women, ranging from the sophisticated to the desperate. Roger tries to coach Nick into making moves on these women, but things don't always go as planned. As the night wears on, Roger's facade begins to crack, and his insecurities and problems come to the surface.
The movie is a character study of Roger, who initially seems like the epitome of confidence and suave. But as we get to know him, we see that his attitudes towards women are more complex than they first appear. At times, he can be misogynistic and cruel, while at others, he's genuinely romantic and respectful of women. His relationship with Joyce is particularly intriguing, as she is his boss and an older woman. Their dynamic is complicated, as they have a complicated history that's slowly revealed to us throughout the movie.
Jesse Eisenberg is also impressive in his portrayal of Nick, a character who is not just the typical awkward teenager trying to lose his virginity. Nick is intelligent, bookish, and generally uninterested in the bar scene. But as he spends more time with Roger, he begins to come out of his shell and starts to see women in a different light. There are also moments of genuine chemistry between Nick and a girl he meets at a bookstore, creating a tender and authentic romantic subplot.
The film is shot in a distinct style, using handheld cameras and unconventional camera angles to create a sense of intimacy and urgency. The setting is mainly in New York City, with Roger and Nick rushing from one bar to another to pick up women. The dialogue is smart and witty, and the film's soundtrack keeps the mood lively.
Overall, Roger Dodger is a compelling exploration of masculinity, gender roles, and sexual identity. It leaves no easy answers, but rather poses questions and invites viewers to make their own judgments. While the film's subject matter may not be for everyone, it's worth watching for the excellent performances from the cast, the sharp writing, and the unique visual style.
Roger Dodger is a 2002 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 46 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.9 and a MetaScore of 75.