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tao of steve

The Tao of Steve

Starring Donal Logue and Greer Goodman
Screenplay by Duncan North with Greer Goodman & Jenniphr Goodman
Directed by Jenniphr Goodman

IN SHORT: Funny and better than average indie-arthouse flick. Rated [R], 90 minutes]

It is a well known "fact" that all that is masculine and good in American society is represented by men named Steve -- Steve McGarrett, Steve Austin, and most prominently Steve McQueen. As this film's main character postulates ("It's not a name. It's a state of mind. It's a way of living."), if he were American, James Bond would be a Steve. Horribly mis-named, but still definite Steves are icons such as Michael Jordan and Spider-Man. Such is the humor of The Tao of Steve, a one lane road of a story that is built on top of a terrific script that manages to turn words like solipsistic into the syllables of a new language of love.

Derived from the real life, and never patented, pick up moves of Santa Fe resident Duncan North, The Tao Of Steve features the most unlikely Don Juan (or as the script explains, Don Giovanni) you'll ever see. He's Dex (Donal Logue), a fat, slovenly, dope smoking, part-time kindergarten teacher. When first seen, at his collegiate 10 year reunion, all the women marvel at how the smartest guy on campus could get so incredibly run down. As well, they all admit to having slept with the guy once upon a time. In fact, some of them are still doing the nasty with Dex, behind their husband's backs, over in the library. Over the course of a lifetime, Dex has developed a set of "rules," all loosely based on the writings of great philosophers such as Lao-Tsu and Buddha, all of which he can quote from memory and all of which make him top dog among the local studs. Simply put, the best way to get into a woman's pants, says Dex, is to act indifferent. It's a rule that younger men, like housemate Dave (Kimo Wills) take to heart.

It's a set of rules that will prove totally inadequate when Dex is dumbstruck at the sight of Syd (Greer Goodman), a designer of theatrical sets for the Santa Fe Opera (an open air joint whose performances are often interrupted by brief rainstorms). Syd remembers Dex far too well from their college days, though there's little mystery as to why for your average grownup viewer. From this point out, which basically means the entire movie, Dex must wrestle with the fact that, for once, his rules won't do him a darn bit of good. All the while, he's counseling Dave on the ins and outs of the perfect pickup. Is there a wee bit of hypocrisy at work here? It isn't for me to say. It's for Dex to realize. Absolutely real and believable performances by both Logue and Goodman make watching this indie flick an above the average joy. The performances are balanced by a good first feature effort from director Jenniphr Goodman who keeps the story moving at a good clip and whose decision to keep this story set in Santa Fe, one of the most beautiful places in this entire country, ensures that the eyes will be entertained as much as the heart.

It is at this point that I should note that teens probably won't understand the inherent humor in the flick. Nor will they immediately perceive what Dex cannot, which I won't spill, because it is necessary to have five or ten dating years under the belt to "get" this movie. With the proper amount of baggage under the belt, the humor built into the script shines brightly.

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Eight Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to The Tao Of Steve, he would have paid...


The Tao of Steve is much better than the average arthouse indieflick and deserves to be seen by the wider public. Highly recommended.

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