Friday, July 18, 2008

Bunch a Lunch (and a Movie)

Had a lovely visit Thursday with Marty and Sandy Davidson, owners of the new Beverly Hills Hot Dog Palace "Marty D's Deluxe Dogs & Desserts." (

Opened about three months, this lovely spot has a Brooklyn corner luncheonette theme (with Beverly Hills flair).

My hot dog was excellent, the french fries outstanding and the hot fudge sundae (I had the small "scooter" sized one) is just about the best I've had ever since C.C. Brown's on Hollywood Boulevard closed.

These two are certainly hands on, treating this enterprise as their little baby. I told Marty I'd read about his restaurant a couple of times but it was a recent L.A. Weekly review that prompted me to come in. I read it as a very positive review. Marty was upset the reviewer, Jonathon Gold, considered his hot dog over-cooked. I've re-read the review and buried among the superlatives about Marty D's are a couple of words hinting the hot dog was over cooked. (Mine wasn't.)

But I guess when it's your baby, anything but total and complete praise stings a little bit.

Thursday night I went to see a gripping drama due for theatrical release in October called "Choose Connor" starring Steven Weber. It's about a 15 year-old boy who meets his local Congressman (running for the U.S. Senate) and quickly gets involved in the campaign as the candidate's "youth spokesperson." The boy soon learns that being involved in politics involves many choices, some of which are very unpleasant.

As someone who started volunteering on campaigns as a 13 year-old I really appreciated how this film captured youthful enthusiasm and how it can be eroded by reality.

Weber gives a brave performance as a politician drunk on power and crossing lines that shouldn't be crossed.

Often I'm critical of the artificial way movies portray political campaigns. I have to say "Choose Connor" does a pretty good job of capturing the look and feel of candidate campaigns. (Though I've never seen one quite as out of control as this one gets.)
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