Projections - Movie Reviews

The Tao of Steve The Tao of Steve

In its linking of an Eastern philosophy, being one with nature with reverence to the suave Steve McQueen, The Tao of Steve is an engaging and thinking person's romantic comedy, buoyed by an intriguing quirky performance by Donal Logue (The Patriot).

Jenniphr Goodman's first feature set in her native Santa Fe, uses the experiences of an overweight local Duncan North, whose secret of success with women is a straightforward entertaining story, scripted by Goodman, North, and the director's sister, Greer, who plays the female lead.

Part of the enjoyment of this affable character driven tale is how this portly man, Dex, presents his attitudes in general about life.

What Goodman cogently relates is that this depiction of an unlikely Lothario isn't concerned with image and ability to seduce women.  Like other romantic comedies from this year, Wonder Boys and High Fidelity, there's humor and emotion.  The lead character has to deal with challenges or setbacks in life.  Here, Dex, at a ten year class reunion has pot bellied out and the bearded man with a Hawaiian shirt, now lives a dorm kind of life while teaching kindergarten.  Two of three women who see him at the party acknowledge having slept with him.  Though the rotund Don Juan, who synthesizes the philosophies of eastern religions, tries to use his skill on a student bartender, a  blond drummer playing at the reunion catches his fancy.

The kindergarten teacher has a foolproof method of dating which is influenced by Groucho Marx; he uses a couple of maxims when trying to score, including a passive aggressive behavior followed by something excellent to prove one's sex worthiness.

Goodman makes us empathetic with Dex as North's real life situations are creatively used by Logue to make the wryly unexpected reach a certain pathos.

Goodman, with her sister and the oddly likable, unconventional ladies man in Logue, without being overbearing, still allows the unlikely to be pleasing.  She has made a thoughtful romantic comedy which has fun tweaking with macho presumptions.

The Tao of Steve

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