Weekly Wire
Austin Chronicle Dill Scallion

By Hollis Chacona

OCTOBER 11, 1999: 

D: Jordan Brady; with Billy Burke, David Koechner, Lauren Graham, Kathy Griffin, Jason Priestley, Peter Berg, Henry Winkler, Dana Gould, Robert Wagner. (Not Rated, 90 min.)

There's an old cowboy saying: "Any cowboy can carry a tune. The trouble comes when he tries to unload it." Truer words couldn't be spoken for Dill Scallion (Burke), a young CMT wannabe who uses heartbreak and lucky boots to help him get to Nashville, where he finds heartbreak and an unlucky belt buckle the size of a hubcap. Fortunately for Dill, his Muleshoe, Texas, girlfriend (Griffin) is a slut and thus the inspiration for his hilarious overnight hit "You Shared You." He leaves her behind and soon finds himself in a cushy, custom-painted bus with a new Nashville gal named Kristi Sue (Graham) and thousands of adoring fans doing his odd little self-invented dance, the Scallion Shuffle ­ which also proves to be his downfall. This small indie film is shot in the now-common mockumentary style, a strategy that ever since This Is Spinal Tap has become de rigueur for band-on-the-road movies. Dill Scallion is chock-full of generous cameos (Priestly, Berg, and Wagner all provide delicious, bite-size chunks of cheesy characters) and Henry Winkler is remarkably restrained as the smarmy producer. Burke's Dill is engaging, but Graham steals the picture. Her Kristi Sue is a big ol' piece of pie ­ sugary, light-as-air meringue with plenty of tart filling and boot-leather-tough crust at the bottom. As freshly scrubbed and neatly slicked and boyishly silly as a cowboy as on a Saturday date, Dill Scallion makes for a great night out.

3.5 Stars

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