The zen of dating

Donal Logue makes slobby Dex's appeal to women perfectly believable: a tall order that won Logue a best performance award at this year's Sundance. If Buddhism makes an appearance here, it's in Dex's realization that Steve--the ideal of his philosophy--has gotten in the way of his truly becoming Dex.

But while not many movie characters these days can be found reading Elaine Pagels' "The Gnostic Gospels" or keeping a copy of "God: A Biography" by the bed, "The Tao of Steve" is still primarily a movie about a guy who finds a way to commit.

"Slacker detachment is a Buddhist virtue," he argues in one scene.In another, he muses: "Hitler did a lot, and don't we all wish he'd stayed home and got stoned?" Dex's Don Juan formula seems foolproof until he falls for Cyd (Greer Goodman), a smart, attractive set designer who's in town for a few weeks to work on the Santa Fe Opera's production of--what else? Dex likes Cyd so much--a violation of rule one-that he begins to act like a "Stu," the opposite of a Steve, best exemplified by uncool bumblers such as Jughead, Barney Fife, and Gomer Pyle.More to the point it can be difficult to say how Zen and the art of anything really works out because Zen is beyond words.Talking about Zen and dating is like talking about Zen and the sky.

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