Gas Food Lodging (1992) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna

Scoop's comments in white:

Classic chick-flick about a single mother raising two teenage daughters in a trailer park in some godawful outback in the desert Southwest.

The usual "boring small-town" plot points follow. One daughter is rebellious and sex-crazed. The other daughter is sensitive and romantic, finding her escape in syrupy Spanish language movies, and placing great hope in a scheme to reunite her folks.

Blah, blah.

Pregnancy. Heartbreak. Dad shows up. Heartbreak. Disappointment. Romance with a Mexican boy. Mother-daughter tension. Everyone just a little wiser .....

Yadda, yadda.

Let me give you the plot summary from the DVD box:

"Life takes a wild turn when Trudi announces she's pregnant - and the father of her baby mysteriously disappears. The girls' long-lost father appears out of nowhere, hoping to make up for lost time. Shaping their lives in unpredictable ways, each new change teaches Nora and her daughters about life, love, and each other."

The film is pretty good if that's what you're lookin' for (as evidenced by 100% positive reviews at RT). Otherwise, move along.

Tuna's comments in yellow:

Gas Food Lodging (1992) is about three women living in a small New Mexico town, a single mother, and her two teenage daughters. Mom works at a greasy spoon, Ione Skye specializes in ditching High School, and little sister Fairuza Balk, who narrates the story, is kind of a solid citizen, addicted to Spanish matinee films, and who wishes they had a real family with a father. All three characters are believable, and all three do and say things that normal people say. Mom, Brooke Adams, is a little bitter, and down on Skye, knowing what trouble she is letting herself in for.


Ione Skye shows her breasts in a sex scene. Unfortunately, the widescreen DVD cuts off some very good looks at her entire chest, and you'll have to watch the full-screen videotape to see the best views.

DVD info from Amazon

  • widescreen anamorphic 1.85

The first time I watched this, I kind of enjoyed it because I liked all three main characters, and some of the supporting characters as well. That wasn't enough to sustain a second watching. Knowing the whole story in advance left me with a slow moving character-based drama.  IMDB readers have this at 6.4 of 10. In won several minor awards, and critics are 100% positive at IMDB.

The Critics Vote

  • James Berardinelli 3.5/4.

The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. IMDb voters score it 6.4/10, but women influenced that score heavily, scoring it quite high at 7.5.
  • The domestic box office was $1.3 million
The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, Scoop says, "This is a C. Realistic chick-flick, with characters drawn from the heart, but you'll probably find this particular reality overrated unless it's the kind of reality you are predisposed to enjoy. It's good enough if you're into chick flicks, but not good enough to convert you. Tuna says, "It is worth a rental, but one watch is enough. C."

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