'My Dinner With Hervé' - Movie Review

Hervé Villechaize was most famous as Tattoo on the TV series "Fantasy Island," where his most (in)famous line was "Ze plane! Ze plane!" "Fantasy Island" was a pretty awful show (and yes, I was around to see it when it was on TV), but Villechaize was an interesting guy. The director of this movie, Sacha Gervasi, did a long interview with him a few days before his suicide in 1993 - and eventually spun that out into the script for this movie. Pete Dinklage plays Villechaize, and Jamie Dornan plays Danny Tate, the alcoholic reporter on the knife's edge of losing his job who's sent to get a fluff piece on Villechaize - and gets far more than he bargained for.

I don't think I've ever seen Dornan act before, and knew him only as "that guy in the 'Fifty Shades' series," so I have to admit I assumed he was incompetent. I'm glad to be proven completely wrong: he was excellent. And - as always - Dinklage was superb. I was a little alarmed by the voice and accent he puts on when I saw the trailer, but A) it's correct for Villechaize, B) he's totally consistent, and C) he's excellent. The story felt a little too contrived, with their fractious relationship and the orchestrated stumbles and recoveries - including it leading to a revelation in the reporter's life. But it appears to be an accurate portrayal of Villechaize (if not Gervasi), who was evidently quite hard to work with.

Huh - what I've written boils down to Rotten Tomatoes summary review: "My Dinner with Hervé offers a standard narrative on celebrity and infamy, but formidable performances by Peter Dinklage and Jamie Dornan find the dimensionality and pathos of Hervé Villechaize the man." And those performances make this well worth your time.