Spitfire Grill, The
PG-13
Entertainment: +3
Acceptability: +2

Every now and then an enjoyable drama comes along which has some of the genteel characteristics of the movies of yesteryear. Such is THE SPITFIRE GRILL, which is the story of Percy Talbot (Alison Elliott), a young woman who has just been released from prison in Maine. She decides to settle in a small town in Maine and gets a job as a waitress at an old-fashioned restaurant called The Spitfire Grill. Although the townspeople are suspicious of her, she makes some friends and becomes the favorite of Hannah Ferguson (Ellen Burstyn), the no-nonsense proprietor of the grill. She also is befriended by the kind-hearted Shelby Goddard (Marcia Gay Harden), a waitress at the grill, and by Joe Sperling (Kieran Mulroney), a likable young man who is attracted to her. She's also very intrigued when she observes Hannah leaving some canned goods each evening in her back yard and discovers that a mysterious stranger takes them and retreats into the woods. But the real excitement gets underway when Hannah, Percy and Shelby launch an essay contest to sell The Spitfire Grill and are overwhelmed with responses. This incident also leads to some very serious and dangerous times for Percy. Parts of THE SPITFIRE GRILL seem unrealistic, but it's well-acted and an entertaining feel-good movie. It also has a few surprises which add to its appeal.

Even with its PG-13 rating, THE SPITFIRE GRILL turns out to be a reasonably decent movie. Most of its characters are caring, small-town people, although one of the local men is out to cause trouble for Percy. However, even he eventually confesses to his harmful intentions and becomes her friend. Even more surprising, Percy on occasion goes to an empty church to commune with God and seek peace. Refreshingly, the story does not include any sexual affairs, nudity or suggestive dialogue and Percy's boyfriend treats her with respect and kindness. There is no excessive violence in the film, although a young woman falls into a raging white-water stream and suffers severely from the ordeal. And at the heart of the story is the mysterious woodsman and the love and concern which Hannah and Percy show to him. The most disappointing element in the film is the use of two rather jolting s-words and some mild and moderate crude words. But THE SPITFIRE GRILL has many commendable and uplifting moments which puts its quality well above most other films.

Preview Reviewer: John Evans
Distributor: CastleRock Entertainment, 10202 W. Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

Summary
Crude Language: Many(12) times - Mild 11, Moderate 1
Obscene Language: Twice - S-word
Profanity: Twice - Exclamatory only
Violence: Few times - Moderate (woman slapped; young woman falls into raging river rapids)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: Man drinks beer briefly; women drink alcoholic apple cider
Other: Woman goes to church to commune with God
Running Time: Unknown
Intended Audience: Age 8 and above

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