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April 01, 1983 - Image 14

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1983-04-01
Note:
This is a tabloid page

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9

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e tourint

#5
Table for five
Starring: Jon Voight and Marie-Christine
Ba rra ut t
Directed by Robert Lieberman
Playing at Ca mpus T heater
By Susan Makuch
HOW CAN YOU travel all the way
around the world and get ab-
solutely nowhere? It's not easy, but Jon

Voight and company did it in Table for
Five, a new motion picture that
possesses every divorced-father cliche
ever written.
Writer David Seltzer wastes no time
in getting to the staid cliches. We've
come to expect this from Seltzer,
though, the man who also wrote the
maudlin Other Side of the Mountain and
the tepid Six Weeks. Voight stars as -
yes - a divorced dad who hasn't spent
a hell of a lot of time with his children
over the last few years. (Cliche #1).
J.P. Tannen (Voight's character) is a
born loser, unable to maintain a job or a
family. (Cliche #2). We can tell Tannen
is a loser because he wears a plaid sport
coat and white shoes. (Cliche #3).
Practically the only time the kids hear
from dad is when he calls them on their

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birthdays - which almost never oc-
curs. (Cliche #4). But deep down, this
guy has a heart. (Cliche #5). Ob-
viously, the list could go on and on. No
need to bore you here, there's enough of
that in the film-.
Table for Five begins with Tannen at-
tempting to re-establish a fatherly
relationship with his three children -
Trung, Tilde, and Truman-Paul. In-
teresting names, huh? Well, we won't
go into that mess too deeply - suffice it
to say that these kids are like any other
movie kids you've ever seen: the con-
fused, bitter juvenile (a dop ted son
Trung); the snotty, mature-for-her-age
daughter (Tilde); and the innocent,
craving-for-attention little sweetie
(Truman-Paul).
J.P. takes this fun bunch on an ocean
cruise - a fresh, new beginning, right?
Don't be silly. All that comes from this
inappropriate setting is some classic
Love Boat material. Of course, J.P.'s
main objective on the ocean voyage is
to have a "cruise-ship quickie," just
like they do on the Love Boat. His ship-
board romance with a divorced mother
(Marie-Christine Barrault) seals the
predictability of the script. Once he finds
intelligent asndveunderstanding.Wat
else? Come to think of it, some of that
originality than this insipid fism.re
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Jon Voight: Born loser
Jon Voight should be reprimanded
for taking such a big part in the
creation of Table for Five. There can be
no excuse for not spotting the banality
of this script. He not only takes on the
leading role, he also acts as co-
producer. That position alone, should
have entitled him to call for some
drastic re-writes, if o a new scrip t fntt. He
takes no initiative, however, and even
his-acting suffers. Voight tries too hard
to make us believe that Tannen
possesses a complexity that doesn't
really exist. He may be a nice guy but
motivation, so we have no motivation to
feel anything - pity, empathy -- for
The director, Robert Lieberman,
comes complete with credits from Mc-
Donald's and Coca-Cola commercials.
Alright, everybody's got to start
somewhere, but McDonalds? (All right,
Barry Manilow). The lack of experien-
ce is most obvious in one of the sup-
posedly more dramatic scenes - one in
which an accident has occured. To
-illustrate the intensity, Lieberman
zooms in on the bloodied family dog
lying in the middle of a car wreckage.
How much deeper can moviemaking
get?
Needless to say, the rest of his direc-
tion fares no better. Each sequence
reminds me of a short vignette - a
commercial, if you will - and the
vignettes are not brought together with
any sense of transition. Thus, Table for
Five lacks the cohesiveness of a good
Therera few bright spots at the
table, mainly the three youngest faces.
Son Hoang Bui portrays Voight's adop-
ted son Trung. Although he brings with
him no previous acting experience, the
real-life Vietnamese refugee does a
sblihngRoxanasZa isa fresh youngt
blossom, and her ability to rise above
the languid material proves that she
definitely has a future in motion pic-
tures. And of course we have Robby
Kiger as TIruman-Paul. This youngster
conveys a totally relaxed, natural
manner onscreen. Many children begin
their careers with such ease but find it
difficult to maintain such spontanaity.
Hopefully Kiger will not have that
trouble, for it would be a waste of a
pleasant talent.
The locales chosen for Table for Five
also add a much-needed dose of spice to
the film. Italian, Grecian and Egyptian
locations add beauty to a dull story. The
only problem lies in the fact that the
director fails to fully utilize these won-
drous sights. If the film ever got out of
first gear, I'm sure we all could have
taken a fantastic voyage.

Trattorla Bonglovanni
120 W. Liberty
Hours: Lunch, 11:30 a.m.-l :3O p.m.
Monday-Friday; Dinner, 5-10 p.m.
Monday-T hursday; 5-1pm Frdy-
Saturday; '4-9 p. m. Sun day
By Ann Marie Fazio
ONE TWENTY W. Liberty may
have a permanent resident.
In the past few years, that address
has housed several different restauran-
Its, none of which have lasted.
Trattoria Bongiovanni may just
change all that.
Variety and quality should give this
new restaurant staying power. From'
the eight-page wine list through the
enorms smain courses totherlast drop
delightful dining experience.
Those well-versed in the pleasures of
Trattoria's selection. And those who
feel overwhelmed by the multi-paged
wine list can safely stick to the house
chianti, a rich, dry wine which goes
splendidly with the dinner choices.
After selecting the wine, the next
task at hand is deciding which of the
eight different antipasti to order. Ah,
but to have problems like that
everyday. The restaurant has-
everything from dried, salted beef with
melon to a cold seafood salad, complete
with shrimp, squid, and octupus. It also
offers the traditional antipasto of cold
cuts, cheese, vegetables, and sardines,
along with a regular tossed salad with
dandelions (when in season), just like
grandma used to make.
Soup is also a good idea, although if
you have both antipasto and soup, along
with the main course, your stomach
suffn it. It is,afhowever, worth in
vesting in some Alka-Seltzer, and
bearing some indigestion just for the
pure sensual pleasure of eating so much
good food. -
The minestrone is thick, tomatoey,
and overflowing with chunks of

vegetables, as a good minestrone
should be. Also available is an in-
terestingly delicious Roman egg-drop-
style broth called stracciatella alla
romana, and a vegetarian lentil soup.
Though the fine wine and delicious
appetizers may seem like tough acts to
follow, the Trattoria's forte is truly
their main courses.
Again, the choice is difficult. My
favorite Italian dish has always been
pasta with clam sauce - the Trat-
toria's cappellini colle von gole lived
up to my every expectation. The pile of
thin noodles saturated in a buttery
sauce clings to the spinach fettuccine
and slides gently down your throat.
Other pasta dishes include gnocchi in
tomato sauce and fettuccine in a
Bolognese meat sauce.
But pasta is not the only thing on the
menu. The trattoria offers an even
larger selection of meat, fish, and
vegetable dinners. For the daring,
there are the fried squid ringsf thei
between can choose from sausage,
veal, lamb, chicken, beef, fresh fish,
eggplant, and even an Italian omelette.
.By this time, the thought of coffee and
dessert will be, at best, painful, but
don't let that stop you. The sensation in
yor oth will more than compesate
mch chocolate and alm onds as it is
torta. This cake goes well with the cap-
pucino, or for the tempered stomach,
the cafe espresso.
Trattoria Bongiovanni does,
however, have a bit of a decor problem.
The tropical chic wallpaper, combined
with the early American wall hangings
do nothing to enhance the experience of
eating fine Italian food.
But the atmosphere is warm and
relaxed, and the service is efficient,
courteous, and very patient with
patrons who are a bit rusty on their
Italian pronunciation.
The food is priced appropriately,
wine starting at $8 a bottle, antipasti
ranging from $2 to$, ,and dinners from
$6 to $11. Two of the most ravenous
hungers can be satisfied for around $30,
which, considering you won't have to
ea t f or another week, is quite
Icnspie ofthe minor visual problems,
the worst thing about Trattoria
Bongiovanni is having to choose from
so many wonderful items. Your best bet
is to go with lots of friends and share, or
go back many times until you've tried
them all.

2137 W. Stadium
Ann Arbor
668-1985
1202 South University
Ann Arbor
665-3065
(next door to Brown Jug)

0 R

Monday:
Tues-Fri:
Saturday:

8:30-8:00
8:30-6:00
10:00-2:00

your local CTC outliet
OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE

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Trattoria Bongiovanni: Aperitivi and more

4 Weekexid/Ajril '121.983 K............... -

9 We

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