You must excuse my ignorance, but I had never, up until this evening, seen this fascinating, engaging, thought-provoking, and ultimately life-affirming film. I feel like I'm a late-comer to the party, especially since this movie has been out on DVD for quite some time (although out of print until recently, and fetching exorbitant and altogether ridiculous sums on Amazon and Ebay).
While watching this wonderful film, I was thinking of the horror of trying to recommend this to the average customer. Yes, indeed, a one hour and 40 minute film almost solely comprised of two men at a dinner table talking about life seems like a tough sell. At the same time, I thought of several people in my life, quite close to me - though in different ways - to whom I felt I needed to recommend this, if they hadn't seen it already. Try to watch it - you'll either be bored out of your skull after the first 10 minutes or completely hypnotized. And if you're one of the latter, I'd like to think I can count you as a friend. The incredibly sly, but unobtrusive way director Louis Malle frames the entire film is a marvel.
The recent Criterion re-issue is superb with a second disc of lengthy interviews with principles Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory nearly 30 years on. Really, I cannot stress how much of a revelation this film was to me, and when Wallace Shawn said the word "inconceivable" at the 3/4 mark, a disbelieving smile came to my face, and my mind was truly blown. This will remain on my FBE staff picks shelf for quite some time.