The Spitfire Grill (1996)

When faced with watching a movie that is so utterly uninteresting 
and entirely uninvolving, what is the sane person to do?  Well, you 
can yawn and stretch and scratch your parts and read your watch 
and, if you're lucky enough to be armed with a notepad, translate 
your miseries into hand-written musings.  The torture doesn't end, 
though, until you leave the theater, which is exactly what I wish 
I'd done during THE SPITFIRE GRILL.  This butt-numbing tear-jerker 
stars newcomer Alison Elliott (THE UNDERNEATH) as a stranger in a 
small Maine town, recently released from prison and now working at 
a local diner.  Her alien presence-- or is it her seeming aversion 
to shampoo?-- sets the entire town on its ear, which then gives the 
Crusty Diner Owner Widow Mother with the Bad Back (Ellen Burstyn) a 
chance to start sticking up for her.  Yawn.  This one won an award 
at the Sundance Film Festival and, frankly, I'd like to know what 
they were smoking.  The hazy lighting, suffocating score, dueling 
accents, eye-rolling monologues, and story surprises that you can 
see coming from a mile off were all too much for me.  But what do I 
know?  The audience that I saw this with cried, clapped, and, in 
later scenes, cheerfully talked back to the screen.  You go girls. 
(Rated "PG"/111 min.)

Grade: C

Copyright 1996 by Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies in MOVIE HELL: August 25, 1996

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