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Robert John Burke,
In its heyday, the Lorraine Hotel saw its fair share of guests, laughter and good times. But now that the aging inn is well past its prime, owner Lillian Garber must decide whether to repair the Catskills landmark - or sell to developers. As Lillian and her zany staff enjoy what may be the Lorraine's best- and last-summer season, they realize that not even a wrecking ball can demolish life's sweetest treasures. A slice-of-life comedy about old friendships, new romance, and letting go of the past. Written by
Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
During the scene where the kids are all sitting in the bedroom talking, when Molly describes a "boondocker", Bobby sets the end of a "cheese doodle" snack aflame. The second time you see him holding the snack, the amount that has burned has actually decreased, and the flame is smaller. He would have had to pick up and light a second piece, but you see no indication of this. See more »
Although I personally think this movie is a 10, I have to give it an 8, because there are a fair number of lines in this movie that will cruise directly over the head of any viewer who has never been to the Borscht Belt.
I used to work at a resort in the Catskills in the summers of the 80's, and every time I watch this movie -- I've got goose bumps from start to finish. It's accurate. Dang accurate. Yes, I too used to wave and yell hello to Jerry. Once airfares became affordable to "normal" people, East Coasters started vacationing all over the country, and every single one of the grand old resorts of the Catskills went through a period of struggling to maintain guest counts, afford repairs on demand, etc. etc. A few have managed to survive and weather the changes. Others went fallow for many years before being purchased and turned into vast corporate golf resorts. Still others remain fallow to this day. Nope, I'm not going to spoil which of these three categories the Lorraine fits into. You'll have to watch to find out.
As Lillian, Maureen Stapleton captured the quintessential Catskills resort matron. Every "character" I ever worked with up there, I saw a piece of them in one or another of the characters in this movie. The hotshots, the quiet workers, the social butterflies, the lovable curmudgeon head chef, etc. etc. The Lorraine was no bed-and-breakfast. "She" was a full fledged resort with a dining room that could sit a couple hundred and enough guest rooms to accommodate even more, dance classes, calisthenics, sports, evening variety shows, etc. etc. Like a page straight out of Ulster County history.
As Molly, Trini Alvarado really brought out the yearning that was in all of us in the 80's -- to recreate the bygone glory of the Catskills all of our parents and grandparents waxed nostalgic about, that real never-give-up spirit. As Sam, Lee Richardson portrays a cook for whom I would be delighted to return to the iceline -- hard-driving but warm-hearted.
I'm glad to see new life being breathed back into the region now, but it will never again be like the old days when the resorts were owned by families, the staff became family, and time hung in a bubble from Fathers Day until Labor Day every single year. The warmth was so genuine, and this movie captures it. If it hadn't, I would feel as completely ambivalent toward this movie as I do toward Dirty Dancing.
This is a heartwarming story of human hearts, a couple of love stories between characters, as well as each main character's own little love story with the Lorraine, wrapped around a bit of a history lesson looking into a vital but bygone period of East Coast life. For the viewers who EVER visited the Borscht Belt during its heyday, or particularly during its decline, this is a must own movie! Pocono folks will understand it too!
If you're looking for the tale of a formerly glorious resort/hotel now shut-down, with wild conflict and action, sorry, but you'll have to watch The Shining for that.
If you know someone who used to summer or work in the Catskills or Poconos and just can't seem to understand what was so magical about the place for them -- this movie will show you that magic better than any other out there. If you want "Hollywood", watch Dirty Dancing; if you want a heartwarming story served atop a heaping helping of the REAL DEAL, watch Sweet Lorraine.
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