Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

Corner Gas: The Movie

Courtesy of Prairie Pants Distribution

1.5 out of 4 stars

Title
Corner Gas: The Movie
Written by
Brent Butt, Andrew Carr, Andrew Wreggitt
Directed by
David Storey
Starring
Brent Butt, Eric Peterson, Nancy Robertston, Fred Ewanuick, Gabrielle Miller
Classification
PG
Country
USA
Language
English

People like to talk about is how "television is the new movies," how the post-Sopranos premium (and basic) cable landscape has ushered in a golden age of TV drama and comedy. There are compelling arguments on both sides of the TV versus movies smackdown, even if it's an ultimately pointless debate that tends to ignore arguments of medium-specificity in favour of sweeping generalizations of quality, sort of like asking, "are doughnuts the new pears?" But nothing reveals TV's latent anxieties about its own worth quite like the spinoff movie.

Enter Corner Gas: The Movie, a feature-length adaptation of the popular and, I'm told, beloved CTV sitcom, which for six seasons transposed the well-meaning, sometimes backbiting folksiness of Stephen Leacock's Sunshine Sketches onto the no-horse prairie town of Dog River, Sask.

Funded by a consortium of Telefilm, CTV and the provincial tourism board, Corner Gas: The Movie feels like an ad for sleepy Saskatchewanian hospitality, spinning a triumphant yarn about Dog River's attempt to save itself from bankruptcy after the mayor (Cavan Cunningham) rolls the town's coffers into a series of inadvisable – and highly topical! – real estate investments in Detroit.

Story continues below advertisement

The crisis draws in all of Dog River, even the apathetic Brent Leroy (Brett Butt), who buys the out-of-business hotel bar in order to reinvigorate the local economy (or at least keep the down-and-out denizens of Dog River plastered). Elsewhere, Brent's thickheaded best buddy Hank (Fred Ewanuick) courts a predatory Timmies-ish coffee chain, oblivious to the effect such competition would have on the local diner owner Lacey (Gabrielle Miller). Also, Wanda (Nancy Robertson) opens an illegal casino, Sergeant Davis (Lorne Cardinal) is forced into early retirement and goes fishing with Graham Greene, and Brent's ornery dad (Eric Peterson) buys a horse.

Yes, all the fan favourite characters of Brent Butt's admired Cancon tax deduction are in attendance, bound to satisfy all the hardened Butt-heads who have been mindlessly surfing through CTV and CBC sitcom lineups since Corner Gas took its prime-time bow in 2009. Having never seen a full episode of Corner Gas, yet vaguely aware of its popularity, it's nonetheless exceptionally easy to keep up with who's who and what's what in the Corner Gas universe.

After all, it's a franchise. And like so many franchises, it trades almost exclusively in stock types. But more than the broad stereotyping of the characters – bossy city girl, sarcastic man-child, cranky old man, dopey metalhead, cranky old woman – Corner Gas deals with the broadest, most palatable assumptions of Canadian identity.

We're nice, but not too nice. We help each other, but we do it while sniping and bickering and calling each other dummies. Our earthy, down-home peculiarities are forever endearing. It's pretty much a basic cable Trailer Park Boys, pruned of all the weed and swearing (and jokes). As one character puts it, offering up a Corner Gas thesis statement that might as well be rendered in

needlepoint and hung above the entrance to your quaintly ramshackle farmhouse, "Friends and family is all we need."

It's a lazy, boring, self-validating attitude. But it's hard to want to argue with.

To the embedded Corner Gas fan base dedicated to this well-meaning folksiness, criticizing the movie for its niceness, or for its barn-broad jokes, or the way you can practically hear it groaning as it stretches the half-hour sitcom format to 90-plus minutes, probably just smacks of so-much snarky, big-city gum-flappin'. And considering that the only thing more obvious than Corner Gas's abundant amiability is its total innocuousness, I'd have a hard time arguing with that, too.

Story continues below advertisement

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies