by thepingofpong

By choosing The Dinner Club, The Netherlands has perhaps chosen the most conventional of the films screened so far at the European Film Festival.

Karen and Michel have just moved into a highbrow area where they join an exclusive club comprising rich couples. Soon there is trouble as two members of the group die in mysterious circumstances. Upon discovering both deceased members were involved in extramarital affairs, Karen turns investigator unearthing several misdeeds among the members of the club.

The Dinner Club incorporates several elements- recalling Sliver in its use of sex with a suspicious character as plot device, and Stepford Wives in its well behaved wives depiction- but it never rises from the conventions. It is much too light to be a criticism of the suburbs and/or capitalism and too mistimed and severely underwhelming to be a good thriller.

If the classifications, for the variety the film festival seeks, are taken broadly and perhaps facetiously as: the good, the bad and the ugly; one cannot begrudge this particular film its selection for the festival, though it unequivocally falls outside of ‘the good,’ some space can be made for it between the last two adjectives. Quite obviously, a lot of thought was not put into the selection process. Someone must have thought, “It is only a film festival, what’s the fuss?” and then decided on a girls’ night out flick that does not engage and consistently fails to hit the right notes.

Still, it shows a variety to European cinema. And that may well be the greatest thing about it.