The Tao of Steve

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
The Tao of Steve Movie Poster Image
Sweet, funny romantic comedy for mature audiences.
  • R
  • 2000
  • 87 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages
Violence

One punch.

Sex

Many sexual references and situations.

Language

Strong language.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Character smokes pot daily, drinks and smokes a lot.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this movie has drug use and a lot of drinking and smoking. Dex has an affair with a married woman, the wife of a good friend. Although the resolution of the movie has Dex becoming more mature, the movie makes immaturity (to the point of hedonism) seem very appealing. Dex cites St. Augustine's famous, "Lord make me chaste -- but not yet." Although it is clear that Dex's behavior does not make him very happy or proud of himself and it hurts the woman he seduces, teen-agers may come away with the same conclusion.

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What's the story?

THE TAO OF STEVE centers around Dex (Donal Logue), a fat, irresponsible, pot-smoking slacker with no ambition. But he is so charming that women cannot resist him. Dex may have no ambition, but he has no pretention, either. He he has a system for seducing women that is almost foolproof. He tells his friend Dave his three rules. First, "Eliminate your desire." Women can't let down their defenses as long as they sense that a man is trying to get them into bed. Second, "Do something excellent in their presence, thus demonstrating your sexual worthiness." Third, "Retreat." This is the titular "Tao of Steve," named for Steve Austin (the $6 million man), Hawaii 5-0 cop Steve McGarrett and the uber-cool Steve McQueen. At his 10th college reunion, where he has sex with a classmate's wife, makes a date with a student tending the bar, and is re-introduced to Syd (Greer Goodman), who is in town to design sets for a production of Don Giovanni (Don Juan). Dex begins to think that he might be a little like Don Giovanni, who "slept with thousands of women because he was afraid he wouldn't be loved by one." He tells Dave to ignore all of his advice: "I've been trying to turn you into me and I'm not sure even I want to be me anymore."

Is it any good?

The Tao of Steve is a classic "the love of a good woman inspires a man to grow up at last," but it is a sweet, funny romantic comedy with appealing characters and witty dialogue. Logue, a character actor in movies like Steal this Movie, and The Runaway Bride, is wonderful. According to the credits, the screenplay is "Based on a story by Duncan North" which is "Based on an idea by Duncan North," which is "Based on Duncan North." North appears on the movie's website answering questions about love and relationships.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why Dex went from the brilliant and promising student his classmates remember to a philosophy that "doing stuff is overrated." Talk about his quote: "the sage, because he never does anything, never ruins anything," and ask whether that is possible. Why is it that Dex's behavior does not make him happy, and why doesn't he change? What is he afraid of? Why does he feel differently about Syd? Why does she put up with him? Is Dex right when he says that romance is our national religion?

Movie details

For kids who love quirky movies

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