By Jen Anthony
Is the pursuit of achieving one goal worth sacrificing everything else? In The Tao of Steve, a wonderfully acted romantic-comedy, this question is both asked and answered. The principle character, Dex, is used to portray the many problems that can arise when one is so goal-oriented. Dex even goes so far as to create his own mantra which is known as the Tao of Steve. Essentially, this is a set of guidelines that he feels work in aiding him to achieve his goal. So much so that he proceeds to try to convert his friends to this way of thinking.
As the film proceeds, we see Dex learning about himself through his efforts to share the Tao of Steve. Dex’s character is very well developed, he comes across as a real person and he’s easy to relate to. It is possible to develop a certain attachment to him. Likewise, the other characters in the film are very believable and well portrayed. This movie lacks the customary sappiness and dreamlike quality that seems to be part of all romantic-comedies–a refreshing change! The plot, of course, is nothing new, and runs along previously trodden tracks but at least it does so in a more realistic and creative way.
Surprisingly, the cinematography in this film is picturesque and creative; the cinematographer does a good job of setting the scene and relaying the surrounding environment.
The soundtrack to this movie is also very well thought out. All the songs are original to the movie and work very well with it. They enhance certain scenes, and the lyrics are in themselves quite entertaining.
The Tao of Steve will appeal to a varied audience, since it can be taken on the "just for shits and giggles" level. It can also be read on a much deeper level, such as whether the pursuit of one goal is worth forsaking the many other aspects of life. It is the sort of movie that enables someone to watch it, and walk away feeling warm and cozy afterwards; or they can walk away with the little neurons in their brains buzzing away.
All in all, The Tao of Steve is a very well put together movie. It is unfortunate that the director was unable to come up with a more original plot, but even so, this is a worthwhile flick.