Love Beat the Hell Outta Me (2000) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

The Robbins Recipe: "My Dinner With Shaft", or "Diner" meets "Waiting to Exhale"

An interesting approach to zero budget filmmaking, and it almost works. Four guys sit down at a table to play dominoes, and talk about ... well, what do men talk about when they get together? About women, of course. Although the talk covers more than just one thread, the running plot thread is that Glenn, a doctor, has separated involuntarily from his girlfriend of fourteen years, with whom he is still completely in love, and he discusses what he can do to get her back.

That's pretty much the entire movie, and the four actors are almost good enough to make it work, but it sure drags in spots. There is some occasional relief from the dominoes table, as the director cuts to a recreation of an incident they discussed, or to a group of women discussing the same incidents from their own point of view.


Glenn and his girlfriend are seen in flashbacks, making love. This is either Kristin Andreotti (who played the girlfriend), or April Williams (the body double for the girlfriend). I suppose the latter.

There is kind of a double-twist ending. Glenn makes a phone call. After it is revealed by Glenn that his ex-girlfriend told him she's getting married, one of the other guys at the table confesses that he's the one she's marrying.

Then there is a final scene where we see a hooded man kill a woman whose face we can't quite see. I guess Glenn killed his ex out of rage, or fantasized about it. I'm not really sure how to interpret that.

I suppose the director must have some real talent. If he can almost hold my attention with a film of four guys sitting at a table, I'll bet he could do a helluva job with a few dollars to spend, but this is just too actionless, and the editing of the ending was choppy. Anyway, I hope he keeps at it, but I can't recommend this one.

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The Critics Vote

  • no online reviews

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: not enough votes for an IMDb score.
  • With their dollars ... I think they hoped for a theatrical release, but no deal materialized. Playing in two theaters, in Atlanta and Chicago.
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C-. Sharp dialogue and good actors make this a watchable genre pic, and a damned good effort for a budget of zero, but it has absolutely no mainstream appeal. If it doesn't sound like the kind of film you'd like, you won't.

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