Gas Food Lodging

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"When Shade's good, she's very good. But when Trudi's bad, she's better."
  • R
  • 1992
  • 1 hr 41 min
  • 6.6  (4,363)
  • 78

Gas Food Lodging is a 1992 indie drama film directed by Allison Anders, based on the novel Don't Look and It Won't Hurt by Richard Peck. The film follows the lives of a single mother and her two teenage daughters in a small New Mexico town. The mother, Nora (played by Brooke Adams), struggles to keep her family afloat. She works long hours in a diner and spends her free time drinking and smoking cigarettes. Her older daughter, Trudi (played by Ione Skye), is rebellious and moody. She spends her nights with a group of punk musicians, but is secretly in love with a young man named Dank. Meanwhile, her younger daughter, Shade (played by Fairuza Balk), is a quiet and introspective teenager who spends her time reading romance novels and dreaming of a better life.

As the film progresses, we learn more about each character's past and present struggles. Nora is still haunted by the memory of Trudi's absent father, who abandoned them years ago. Trudi is struggling to figure out who she is and what she wants in life, torn between her desire to rebel against her mother and the small town they live in, and her longing for a stable relationship with Dank. Shade, meanwhile, is grappling with her own budding sexuality and the confusion and fear that comes with it.

The film is notable for its honest and empathetic portrayal of female experience, particularly in relation to teenage sexuality. Shade's storyline in particular is handled with a rare sensitivity, as we see her navigating her feelings of attraction towards an older man, while also being pressured by her peers to conform to certain expectations of femininity and sexuality.

Gas Food Lodging is also notable for its strong sense of place. The film is set in a dusty, run-down town on the fringes of the American Southwest, and the sense of isolation and desolation is palpable. The cinematography captures the rugged beauty of the landscape, as well as the tawdry motels and diners that dot the town.

Despite its dark and at times painful subject matter, Gas Food Lodging is ultimately a hopeful film about the resilience of women and the enduring bonds that tie families together. Amidst the chaos and pain of their lives, Nora, Trudi, and Shade all find moments of joy and connection with one another, reminding us that even in the darkest of times, love and humor can help us through.

Gas Food Lodging is a 1992 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 41 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.6 and a MetaScore of 78.

Gas Food Lodging
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 41 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.6  (4,363)
  • Metascore