Tao Of Steve, The (2000, Donal Logue, Greer Goodman)

Tao Of Steve

Dex (Donal Logue) is a somewhat overweight kindergarten teacher whose idea of breakfast is a large draw on his bong. Yet he is a babe magnet, attracting both singletons and married women thanks to his Tao of Steve. As he explains to his luckless friend Dave (Kimo Wills), it’s based on the coolness exuded by Steves McQueen, McGarrett and Austin and three basic rules: eliminate your desire; be excellent in their presence; and withdraw (a reference to his realisation that men and women both want to have sex but women want to have it 15 minutes after men so hold out for 20 and she’ll be chasing you).

Then, at a school reunion, he meets ex-squeeze Syd (Greer Goodman, the sister of the director) and the rules are out of the window; he wants her but she refuses to fall under his spell and he must find another way to win her heart.

The warmth of this film comes from the real-life relationships between the writers and cast; as well as the sisterly bond (with other sister Dana also in a minor role), writer Duncan North and Jenniphr Goodman were flatmates and they based the script on aspects of his life. Logue, who won the best actor award at Sundance, is superb as the slacker seducer, aided by an intelligent script which actually has people talking naturally rather than through a script re-written a thousand times. Warm, humane and witty, like The Station Agent and Lost in Translation , this is a mature film that never condescends.

USA / 2000

Director: Jenniphr Goodman
Writers: Duncan North, Jenniphr Goodman, Greer Goodman

Cast: Donal Logue, Greer Goodman, Kimo Wills, Ayelet Kaznelson, Nina Jaroslaw

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