The Automat - Movie Review

By Monica Sullivan

“The Automat”, now in release in America, talks about a time when the country was dominated by the company that served simple, tasty, delicious food..  At its height it was a very important part of American culture.  The food was good, and filling, and people loved it.  They liked to eat food and meeting their friends at the automat.  

When I first saw Doris Day's movie called “That Touch of Mink” with Cary Grant, Gig Young, Audrey Meadows, and John Astin, I didn’t know how close the automats were to being over.  It was a funny movie and is always a lot of fun to watch on the tube.  One of the main characters worked in an automat.  Tha would be Aurey Meadows.  The automat served a larger function than just food for a long, long, long, time.  The fact that the automats are long   gone now does not mean that people have forgotten them.  Far from it.  

The automat was known for serving good, solid, food. Not glamorous food.  Good stuff, and it was very popular with large groups of people.  They talked about their lives and their friendships, and it was very important for people’s lives.  The film shows that as automats were passing away, you can see how what replaced it became a very different world indeed.  You can go to diners now but as I found out when Covid hit the scene, it was not a happy place that you would expect. They were places where you went only for food.  Something was lacking.  For one thing, the food wasn’t as good, and it wasn’t just for nostalgic dreams of what it should have been, it really wasn’t as good.  We are now sw itching to more homemade, improvised things at home.  We’re still not ready to go to the kind of place where we went before Covid.  And, you know, that’s kind of sad.  

It’s obvious that the filmmakers think that we lost something when we lost that particular kind of place, but bits and pieces and old memories still remain and one thing that the movie gives us is that sense of happiness that we look for when we have favorite hangouts.  So when you think about things that you loved in the past, and aren’t there anymore, you don’t think of them as they were then, but as we wanted them to be.  For Movie Magazine this is Monica Sullivan.

© 2022 - Monica Sullivan - Air Date: 03/30/22
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