‘Gas Food Lodging’: The ‘Ladybird’ of the 1990s

Adapted from the novel ‘Don’t Look and It Won’t Hurt’ by Richard Peck and directed by Allison Anders, Gas Food Lodging is about a single mother and her two daughters, searching for meaning in life and their place in the world in the barren desert of New Mexico (JRL: 4 / 5).

Review by FF2 Associate Julia Lasker

Gas Food Lodging is set in the quiet, empty, and mostly beige desert-land of New Mexico: a place in which our protagonists, “Nora” (Brooke Adams) and her two headstrong, spunky daughters, “Trudi” (Ione Skye)  and “Shade” (Fairuza Balk), don’t quite blend in. The three live together in a trailer, where their father’s absence constantly looms in the background. Trudi and Shade are left searching for ways to fill this void in other ways: Trudi through teenage rebellion and Shade through her fantasies. 

Shade often frequents a local movie theater, where she obsessively watches dramatic black-and-white Elvio Rivero romance films. She believes that if she can just find an “Elvio Rivero” for her mother, thus completing their family once again, all of their problems will be solved. She searches for the right man and becomes frustrated when it doesn’t work. Meanwhile, Trudi meets a traveling geologist and falls in love. When she becomes pregnant, Nora is wary that Trudi will end up just like her: a struggling single mother. Tensions rise between the three women, each of them lost in their own idea of how the world should be.

I always appreciate a filmmaker who finds drama in the mundane. Nora, Trudi, and Shade live a small, ordinary life, yet the action that plays out in the film feels monumental. We find all three characters at a turning point in life, and the uncertainty of what will become of each of them is riveting. The urgency to repair their broken family and find happiness again is palpable, and therefore every moment of relief – be it in a glowing underground cave, or at the most dramatic moment of an Elvio Rivero film – is magical, almost fantastical, as I can imagine it would be to them. The fact that they are so clearly suffering from the loss of their father also heightens the drama of each interaction they have with men. Each of them has a romance in the film, and though all three are unique and interesting in their own way, they are all underscored by this same sense of urgency.  

Brooke Adams, Ione Skye, and Fairuza Balk have fantastic chemistry as a mother and her daughters. They each deliver powerhouse performances that compliment each other well. The film finds them at a tense moment in their relationship, and I could feel my heart break when they fought because of the sheer reality of it. Yet, at the same time, they are bonded by their struggles, and it’s clear how much they love and care about one another despite it all. I think their relationship is one that many mothers and daughters might relate to, similar to the connection many found to the mother and daughter relationship in Ladybird

Director Allison Anders was the child of a single mother and then a single mother herself, so there is so much truth in this story. And it feels true. Though she doesn’t sugar-coat the harsh reality of single-motherhood, and many moments are quite tough, she also doesn’t shy away from the moments of wonder and joy that they each find in their everyday life. In a way, this is simply what life is, and Gas Food Lodging does a wonderful job of portraying it. I think, because of this, Gas Food Lodging is a film with which many people, single mothers and otherwise, will resonate deeply.

© Julia Lasker (11/10/2020) – FF2 Media

Photos: Credit to Dean Lent

1,006 comments

  1. I am firsthand to this pharmduck. I was searching in spite of a stern element seeking my hands, which was in genealogy at a acceptable cost and in fact cheaper than other sites. I establish the ordering process unembellished and the ordering and payment susceptible to send up and secure. I received emails confirming my order small cut of in a jiffy and a tracking no. eas supplied. The orderliness arrived within a periodic days. Certain to manipulate and effective. Detection you I thinks apposite be a submit customer.

  2. By the skin of one’s teeth wanted to report a huge ‘because of you’ in search azithromycin class changing my duration! Since trying the Bio-identical hormones, following the G-I diet, I entertain lost 6 and a half pounds, my skin is awesome, I experience all my old forcefulness pursuing and really, I ethical prefer queer! Just now, no equal believes that I am 47, nor a fit survivor! I unquestionably look impertinent to working with you in the future (which is very dazzling!)

  3. I was so impressed with you seminar mould dusk, as well as your http://www.azithromycintok.com. I choice participate in to spread the powwow of the Varying aspects that you provide. Compounding, Herbal , and Homeopathic remedies. Such a friendly, emotional, animation of the pile up as well.

  4. There’s no have reservations it takes an dab hand crew to understand the complexities of the healthcare cost of ventolin industry. I was looking in favour of a helpmeet who actually knew and given the merchandise and could workers reduce my execution risk when structure my business.
    Incredible tons of good material.

  5. I’m not sure why but this site is loading very slow for me.

    Is anyone else having this problem or is it a issue on my end?

    I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still
    exists.

  6. naturally like your website however you have to take a look at the spelling on several of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling issues and I in finding it very troublesome to inform the truth on the other hand I will certainly come again again.

  7. When I originally commented I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added-
    checkbox and now each time a comment is added I receive 4 emails with the same comment.
    Is there a way you can remove me from that service?

    Thank you!

  8. Новинки фільми, серіали, мультфільми 2021 року, які вже
    вийшли Ви можете дивитися українською
    на нашому сайті link

  9. Please let me know if you’re looking for a
    article writer for your blog. You have some really
    good articles and I feel I would be a good asset. If you ever
    want to take some of the load off, I’d absolutely love to write some content for your blog in exchange for a link back to
    mine. Please shoot me an e-mail if interested.
    Kudos!

  10. All the way through my 37 years in this sedulousness, I’ve never dealt with a company that knows customer handling like side effects of cialis for daily use of Minnesota. When we transitioned to Guardian, our inviolate nursing crozier directly jumped on enter after experiencing the added-level of tolerant safety from the rather’s integrated services. By partnering with Dent and his unite, we identify that we are doing the best fit our patients and residents. Thanks. A lot of facts.

  11. MenuQQ merupakan situs permainan kartu online yang memakai
    platform PKV Games sebagai partnernya dalam menyediakan kualitas server yang kencang dan canggih

    I’d like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put
    in penning this site. I am hoping to check out the same high-grade blog posts by
    you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to
    get my own blog now 😉

  12. Hi, bring about a elevated bonus on an note I was looking for, checked other sites, and reviews, evident on HealthyKin, and am so happy I did. Paid allowing for regarding and checked extinguished a team a few days ago, and today, Friday, STYGIAN FRIDAY, no less, so a hectic day, but my carton arrived through on time after time, sooner than I expected, and packaged perfectly, and I am so happy. Would back zithromax z pak 250 mg tablet, and I will be using them again. Cheers. A lot of tips.

  13. I’ve been buying from pharmacotc.com since 2015. I’ve tried innumerable diverse kratom companies and products, and Kraken has been the highest dignity and most consistent. Kraken also has notable chap service: the insufficient times I include had an outcome over the years the caduceus at Kraken quickly resolved the dispute to my satisfaction. I would advisable them to anyone that uses kratom and is looking on a company company with worthy products. Seriously a lot of valuable knowledge.

  14. I’m really impressed with your writing skills and also with the
    layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself?
    Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a great blog like this one these days.

  15. I believe that is one of the such a lot significant info for me.
    And i’m happy studying your article. However wanna statement
    on some general issues, The website style is perfect, the articles is really great :
    D. Good job, cheers

  16. Since partnering with ivermectin, we have doubled our beds served and less tripled our revenue. This has been a win-win relationship. We take on time to day decision-making focusing on the needs of our customers but own the strength, stability and pecuniary assistance of a much larger organization. Many thanks. Terrific information.