SWEET LORRAINE (director: Steve Gomer; screenwriters: Michael Zettler/Shelly Altman, story by Mr. Zettler, Mr. Altman and George Malko; cinematographer: Rene Ohashi; editor: Laurence Solomon; music: Richard Robbins; cast: Maureen Stapleton (Lillian Garber), Trini Alvarado (Molly Garber), Lee Richardson (Sam), John Bedford Lloyd (Jack), Freddie Roman (Phil Allen), Marcell Rosenblatt(Pearl), Ben Lin (Tony), Mindy Morgenstern (Sarah), Giancarlo Esposito (Howie), Tamara Tunie (Julie), Evan Handler (Bobby), Todd Graff (Leonard), Edith Falco (Karen); Runtime: 91; MPAA Rating: PG-13; producer: Steve Gomer; Paramount Home Video; 1987)
“Engaging bittersweet slice-of-life comedy-drama about the last days of an 80-year-old Catskills Mountain hotel.”
Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz
Director and producer Steve Gomer (“Sunset Park”/”Barney’s Great Adventure”/”Fly By Night”) had his heart in this engaging bittersweet slice-of-life comedy-drama about the last days of an 80-year-old Catskills Mountain hotel. Maureen Stapleton plays Lillian, the beloved elderly Jewish matriarch of the Borscht Belt establishment. She decides to sell her hotel at the end of the summer to a Hasidic group of land developers rather than make expensive repairs to the run-down upstate NY hotel. Trini Alvarado plays her 20-year-old grand-daughter Molly, who spends her school summer vacation working in the kitchen. Nat King Cole sings the title song. The nostalgic piece is based on the feel-good story by Michael Zettler, Shelly Altman and George Malko.
There are no surprises. Simplicity and a sense of genuineness is the thing here. It works. For those who went to the Catskills in its heydays of the 1950s this film will bring back memories. Others can relate to how things change and how families must adjust to the changing times whether they like it or not. Gomer’s pic captures with a flair how those ethnic Jewish resorts operated.
REVIEWED ON 8/22/2015 GRADE: B-
Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”
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