Plot: What’s it about?
Dex (Donal Logue) used to be slim, slick ladies man when he was in college, but a lot has changed since those days. At present, he has gained a lot of weight and isn’t as slick, but for some reason, he still scores with the chicks all the time. He works part time as a kindergarten teacher, smokes pot for breakfast, and has minimal ambition, but the women flock to him in droves. But his success is no secret, as he lives by the Tao of Steve and that seems to serve him well enough. He believes that the personas of such Steves as McQueen, Austin, and McGarrett offer insight into women, which means coolness is everything. He has learned to lose his desires, retreat when pursued, do excellent things in front of the ladies, and other discipline based ideas, all of which have the women on his trail all the time. But when he meets Syd (Greer Goodman), he falls head over heels in love and is forced to look deeper within himself, to find out what he really wants and needs.
I know romantic comedies have gotten a bad rap with the guys, but The Tao of Steve offers a nice alternative, one that guys and girls will appreciate. This all starts with the film being told from a man’s perspective and that man is not the typical genre player, he’s overweight, clumsy, and uses philosophy to score with the babes. So if you want the usual romantic comedy, then this isn’t your flick, but if you want a change of pace, don’t pass this one up. Donal Logue is excellent in the lead role and although the supporting cast is mostly unknowns, I was never let down by the performances. The premise is very unique and the writing never disappoints, as the dialogue stays sharp and the characters are well defined also. A ton of hilarious moments can be found in this flick, with very few slow spots to lessen the experience. So while a lot of these kind of movies have long, dry spells, The Tao of Steve delivers from start to finish. This disc from Columbia/Tristar is a solid effort also, with a very cool commentary track tacked on. I highly recommend this hilarious and refreshing film to all those interested, as a rental or purchase is money well spent.
The force behind this film is Donal Logue, who shines in this role and really seems to nail all the details of the character. Although Logue has been limited to television work and smaller roles, he is excellent in this film and shows he has some serious potential. I don’t think Logue would work this well in all roles, but if he can pick the correct choices, I think he can manage a long and solid career in the movies. I’ve always liked his performances in smaller roles and I was unsure what to expect from him here, but Logue more than proves he can handle the lead, at least in some cases. Other films with Logue include Jerry Maguire, The Patriot, Gettysburg, Disclosure, The Million Dollar Hotel, Runaway Bride, Reindeer Games, and Blade. The cast also includes Kimo Wills (Empire Records, I Love Trouble), Nina Jaroslaw, Ayelet Kaznelson (Dog Run), David Aaron Baker (Hi-Life, Other Voices), and Greer Goodman, who also helped pen the screenplay for the flick.
Video: How does it look?
The Tao of Steve is presented in a 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. This was a low budget production and as such, the image isn’t as refined as a better funded film, but I think this transfer is a more than solid one. The contrast seems a little dark at times, but detail still looks strong and black levels are pretty dead on, most of the time. No problems with the colors though, as the hues come across in smooth form and flesh tones look natural also. The source print has some flaws also, but that is to be expected from a lower budget picture like this. So while this transfer isn’t as pristine as I’d like, I am still pleased with the results.
Audio: How does it sound?
The included 2.0 surround track is nothing to write home about, but it does the basics well enough and has some nice sparks involved. The surrounds see some use when the music kicks in, as well as some immersive sound effects, although on a small scale than more action driven movies, of course. The main focus here is dialogue, which is sharp and always easy to understand, no problems in the least to report. The disc also includes subtitles in English, Spanish, and French.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes some talent files and the film’s theatrical trailer, but also houses an audio commentary, with various cast and crew members. This one gets muddled often and stars off on a bad note, but levels out over time and ends up better than I had expected. I wasn’t too taken in with the director, writer, or Duncan, but Donal Logue has some interesting comments to add. Worth a listen if you loved the flick, but otherwise, it is just too poorly crafted to bother with, if you ask me.