Stars: Paul Guilfoyle, Riker Lynch, Kat Kramer, Donna Mills, Julia Silverman, Blair Williamson, Jamie Brewer, Carlos Carrasco, Isabella Blake-Thomas, Beverly Todd, Adwin Brown, Elina Madison, Ellen Gerstein and Danny Pardo
Director: Linda Palmer
Scriptwriters: Linda Palmer and Laree’ D. Griffith
Composers: Nami Melumad and Natalia Perez
Cinematography: Jennifer Hook
Rating: No rating but could be PG 13
Running Length: 120 Minutes
The film, “Turnover,” needs a major star to carry the role of Peter, the restaurant owner, who thinks he will be in the restaurant business forever. The late Brian Dennehy comes to mind as one choice, but it is Paul Guilfoyle (“CSI" ) who takes the role of Peter and makes it his own. Guilfoyle lights up the room when he enters and the other actors react to him. By the time, the story of this restaurant owner is going smoothly, so is the cast, and as the story proceeds, each person has their moment to give us an idea of their character’s life. By the way, when you finish this film, you will want to immediately head for the nearest restaurant. Or, if you are watching the film at home---order out for your favorite food.
“Turnover” is directed and co-written by Linda Palmer. There is a main story here, that of a restaurant owner, and enough side stories to make this into a television series. Since the plot concerns a restaurant, there are the people who work at the restaurant, plus the customers and the family members of the staff. The film begins with someone making pastries and the audience can almost smell the aroma. From here, we go to a discussion between Peter (Paul Guilfoyle) and his manager, Henry (Riker Lynch from “Glee”.) Peter’s wife, Fran (Kat Kramer from “Child of the ‘70’s” TV series) is leaving him and Peter needs time to think things over, should he close the restaurant or not? In the meantime, Henry gets an offer to manage a larger restaurant, and hires a new manager and staff for Peter’s restaurant---then just leaves. What to do? William (Adwin Brown from “You” TV series) takes the job of manager with no experience, there is a new cook just out of prison (Carlos Carrasco who steals his scenes), a hard-of-hearing waitress (Julia Silverman from “Kaplan’s Korner” TV series), a special needs bus boy, Charlie (Blair Williamson) and a wildly-dressed waitress (Isabella Blake-Thomas from “Once Upon A Time” TV series) What a team and from here on in, the fun begins. What happens when Peter comes back? What does Pat (Donna Mills from “General Hospital”) and her friends have to do with the restaurant? Why can’t anyone remember the name of Fran’s new boyfriend?
It takes about twenty minutes to get into the story, and from then on, there are unexpected things that happen, and heart-warming moments. Paul Guilfoyle makes Peter into a man with kindness, who can’t say no. The role requires him to take on the many phases of a man’s life, from happiness to divorce and beyond, and Guilfoyle does it all well. Riker Lynch’s Henry, can readily make decisions and can also look at better offers. Adwin Brown’s managerial skills are brought forth in William, and he is helped by the sassy waitress, Pepper (Isabella Blake-Thomas and she can do sassy.) Blair Williamson is a special needs actor, putting warmth into the role of Charlie who wears his heart on his sleeve, while Miguel hides his heart with a gruff manner, and Carlos Carrasco is good here. Waitress? Julia Silverman’s Gladys is the right fit for the role and you get the impression that she could manage anything.
The atmosphere of the restaurant business and the competitiveness of it all is shown. Also, the necessity to change in order to keep business coming in. Some people can change readily and some can’t. Hiring and firing isn’t easy and if you ever thought of going into any business, you may take notes here. Through it all, is the pleasantness of food and preparation of food and the carrying of food onto the table and the cooking of the food. Not only that, but the script manages to get in hiring a special needs person, hiring an ex-convict and working as a team.
My favorite scenes are whenever Miguel is in the kitchen mixing ingredients for the food with a meat cleaver nearby so he won’t be disturbed. Plus, any time Gladys is serving food to a customer. Be prepared for just about anything to happen in “Turnover,” and though the story line may wander a bit, it does so with heart.
A side note: “Turnover” was made before the Corona Virus pandemic. There is a character in the film who coughs in a restaurant to the annoyance of patrons and this is done for humor, also there is cigarette smoking in the film and this is part of another character’s persona.
Copyright 2020 Marie Asner