Tao of Steve [2000]

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
In his college days Dex (Donal Logue) was a slim, cool, smooth-talking ladies' man. A decade later he's an overweight, underachieving kindergarten teacher, but he's honed his pick-up technique into a way of life--a mix of zen, tough-guy cool, and college philosophy he and his buddies call "the Tao of Steve," named after the manly triad of Steve Austin (a.k.a. the Six Million Dollar Man), Steve McGarrett (Jack Lord's unflappable cop on Hawaii Five-0), and the king of all Steves: Steve McQueen. Santa Fe is populated with his one-night stands, but then he runs into Syd (Greer Goodman), a smart, sexy old classmate with an arsenal of sharp retorts, at a college reunion. This American indie take on the slacker lothario falls into the old familiar story: eternally adolescent man meets grown-up woman and is forced to face up to a life in which he has never taken an emotional risk or a life-changing plunge. Logue's easy charm and low-key confidence makes Dex an easy guy to like, and director Jenniphr Goodman (who cowrote the script with Greer, her sister and star of the film) invests his lifestyle of leisure (mostly guys chatting about girls and trading pop culture references) with an offhanded naturalness. But neither is she oblivious to the holding pattern his life has taken. Sure, there's an inevitability to this shaggy romance, but there's an undeniable pleasure in seeing the change in the landscape of a familiar road. --Sean Axmaker

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