OPEN TABLES is a poignant comedy about the foibles of romance. Several couples fall in and out of love over the course of a film that isn’t afraid to tackle some profound issues, such as what part of the body actually falls in love, and what is the perfect meal over which to have someone’s heart torn out. For writer/director/co-star, the piquant answer to the latter is comfort food.
When I spoke to Newell by phone on 12/1/16, our conversation covered the sly way that humor can make a serious point, the perils and pleasures of a long film shoot on a micro budget, and the serendipity of décor in apartments used as film sets.
We started, though, with Transient Global Amnesia (TGA), a condition from which one character suffers. For Newell, writing about it hearkened back to one of his worst childhood traumas, here reimagined as clever meditation about what part of the body actually falls in love.
OPEN TABLES is a serious comedy about love, heartbreak, and food. Newell plays Ryan,the single friend in the midst of fix-up during a dinner party. As the conversation turns to different true tales of romance (told in flashback) the film considers the profoundly mysterious ways of the human heart with a wise and wickedly puckish wit, and the film follows the diners as they move forward with their own adventures and mis-adventures. The film co-stars Bill Arnett, Desmin Borges, Colleen Doyle, Kate Duffy, Gwendolyn Gourvenec, Keith Kupferer, Beth Lacke, Joel Murray, Caroline Neff, and David Pasquesi. Newell directed from his own script.