Third-Degree Burns

But in Claudia's view, the whole town is one big dead end. The clearest statement of what she wants, or at least what she doesn't, comes when she tells Michael she'd rather go to "a nice restaurant" in the city than to his mother's house for a big meal: "Because we haven't left this town to do anything in over a year. It would be nice to see something other than the same people and the same streets. Besides, every time we go over to your mother's, you and your brothers sit in the living room and watch football, and your mother and sister trap me in the kitchen and ask when we are going to get married."

There's no dishonor in being a good waitress, but Claudia thinks it would be a living death to grow old as one. And there's no indication she could do anything else. Her distance from an older waitress made me yearn for the inspirational sisterhood-is-wonderful diner scenes in Martin Scorsese's peppy Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1975). Burns plays the class card, all right, but with an upwardly mobile strategy. And he deals it from the bottom of the deck.

No Looking Back.
Directed and written by Edward Burns. Starring Edward Burns, Lauren Holly, Jon Bon Jovi, Connie Britton, and Blythe Danner.

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