I have loved the Canadian sitcom, Corner Gas for a number of years now. This year I also got my family to watch it, and they enjoy it as well. It was then an easy decision to purchase Corner Gas the Movie.
The movie takes place a number of years after the end of the show. The residents of Dog River are the same as ever, but some bad investments with the town’s money have brought it to a state of financial crisis. The only apparent solution is to enter the town into the quaintest town in Canada contest and use the prize to solve their problems.
Many complications present themselves as Lacey tries to pull the town together to save their home. Brent appears to be indifferent to the town’s collapse. The power flickers on and off as their unpaid bills pile up. The water pump is going, and the last straw is the closing of the bar.
They open with my own personal weakness. A scene of the ending then the movie builds towards it. Sometimes this can be a problem because the audience now knows exactly where the movie is going, but I found they did it well enough that I was questioning how it could possibly get to that point right up to the point itself.
As with the show, the humour is very sarcastic and deadpan. I found the humour connected with me, and there were a number of times that I laughed out loud. The drawback I can see with a comedy like this is that a number of the jokes rely on its location, a small town in the Canadian prairies, so it may not be relatable to all demographics. I’m not from the prairies, but I’ve grown up in the country. So I’m not sure how the story connects with audiences that have grown up in the city.
The main problem with a sitcom adapting to a movie is whether or not the material can be effectively adapted to a full runtime of an hour and a half. This is basically carrying one story for the same length as four episodes. The story that is setup lends itself to be a good way to keep an audience engaged for that length of time. That being said, there are a couple of subplots and a bit of a long opening to help get to that length, so it’s not perfect but a good and mostly effective attempt.
My Favourites from the film: The whole cast and a large part of the creative team return which is a wonderful thing to view. The humour still hits home, and every character had an interesting and engaging place in the story. The evolution of the story and characters to this point felt logical. The story was well written. The photography was beautiful.
My Less enjoyed parts: Some of the story elements were overplayed while others were underplayed. Wanda’s antics in Davis’ man cave start to drag and lose steam halfway through the film. Karen’s pregnancy felt out of place and really didn’t add to the story. The whole lawsuit plot point is kind of just brushed aside.
My Recommendation: This is a great film for fans of the series and makes them feel like they never left. It’s a fun small town, indy style comedy. If you haven’t heard of Corner Gas before, I’d suggest checking out the first season to start.