(director: Peter Masterson; screenwriter: Bill Bozzone; cinematographer: Fred Murphy; editor: Jill Savitt ; music: Phil Marshall; cast: Terri Garr (Louise), Gene Hackman(Floyd), Burgess Meredith (The General), Elias Koteas (Jimmy), Kevin Cooney (Charlie), David Doty (Virgil), Gil Glasgow (Baytch), Becky Gelke(Dorothy), Marietta Marich (Lois); Runtime: 96; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Lawrence Turman, David Foster, John Turman; Trans World Entertainment/Media Home Entertainment; 1988)

An insufferable sentimental comedy that resembles too much a TV sitcom to make for good cinema.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

An insufferable sentimental comedy that resembles too much a TV sitcom to make for good cinema. It’s weakly helmed by director Peter Masterson (“Whiskey School”/”Convicts”), and first-time screenwriter Bill Bozzone turns in a disappointing Tennessee Williams type of southern eccentric character comical script.

At least Gene Hackman stars in it, and he’s always a good watch. It’s a throwback film to the days of early TV fare in the 1950s, like the Philco Theater. The lonely widower Floyd (Gene Hackman) is the nice guy owner of a rundown bar and grill called the Blue Water Grill. He used to run the place, located on the Texas Gulf coast, with his wife. The still grief-stricken Floyd, whose wife died a year ago still regularly watches home movies of her and can’t get his head into his business as he continues to feel sorry for himself. He also pays little attention to the always busy Louise (Terri Garr), who chases after Floyd when working part-time for him and not driving the school bus or studying computers in night school.Floyd lives with his senile and vulgar father-in-law, who is in a wheelchair and is called the General (Burgess Meredith). He’s cared for by the partially retarded handyman (Elias Kotias), who takes him around town in his wheelchair.

The pic centers around how Floyd puts the past behind him to deal with the now when he gets offers from developers who want to turn his dump into a tourist attraction. It tells how a number of critical moments develop into tragedies and how he must deal with the grasping mainland greedy developers. It’s feisty Louise to the rescue to help get him out of his funk when she learns he could lose the place because of non-payment of taxes.

Though there were some pleasures in it there were not enough for me, as I found it hard to get into Floyd’s melancholy trip.

REVIEWED ON 5/30/2018 GRADE: C+   https://dennisschwartzreviews.com/