TAO OF STEVE is all about the cool, the
studied detachment, and the infinite desirability
of the guys women fall all over--Steves.
As in McGarrett. As in Austin. And most
especially as in McQueen. From an aromatic
blend of the writings of Nietzche, Lao
Tzu, and Groucho Marx, arises The Tao--how
to behave so that women will want you.
story starts at a college reunion where
Rick and Maggie have brought along reluctant
pal Dex (Logue, THE PATRIOT, THE OPPORTUNISTS,
STEAL THIS MOVIE), the class Lothario.
Now an overweight part-time kindergarten
teacher, Dex seems like unlikely swoon
material. But he is in fact, a serious
player, who can't help working his wiles
on old conquests as well as new young
honeys until, across a crowded room he
sees ... the one. Her name is Syd (Goodman),
and she's completely clear-eyed about
Dex and his seduction schtick.
TAO OF STEVE doesn't transgress any of
the familiar structures of its genre.
Who'll fall for whom? Who'll wind up together?
You won't spend much time on these questions.
But then again with romantic comedies,
it's the journey, not the destination.
In this case, the journey seduces completely.
Logue has the kind transparent, cherubic
charm that makes you think you're choosing
to go along rather than being taken. Greer
Goodman's smart, tough-minded performance
as Syd nicely balances a moral compass
and a sense of humor. Director Goodman
(Greer's sister) gets unactorly performances
from both children and adults--a neat
trick--and makes the city and environs
of Santa Fe a full-blown character as
movie has some fun with itself. Syd designs
sets for operas, so we get to see the
striking Santa Fe Opera Theater as well
as listen to some highly pertinent chat
about Don Giovanni. Dex copies his idol's
schtick from THE GREAT ESCAPE. Dex and
his roommates live in the best house on
the planet, complete with pool table,
poker nights, a fridge full of beer, a
disc golf course in the back yard, plus
a young roomie who's eager to learn the
secrets of seduction (think COME BLOW
in all, THE TAO OF STEVE is a pretty good
way to spend an hour and a half. (Avoid
going with annoying persons who have a
tendency to quote from movies, or you'll
be listening to half-baked philosophical
bullshit for weeks.) One disappointment
is that Dex was so captivating and interesting
as a player that I kind of lost interest
in him when he reformed. Fortunately,
for most of the movie, he's as unregenerate
as Don Giovanni.
Bogucka, an ACTION GRRL!