I searched for a decent review of this film as I am biased and this film is definitely NOT going to be everyone's cup of tea. What I would say is that for £2.99 delivered it's well worth a viewing if only to catch the full length version of the classic song of the same name. It's all the about the 60's as it was and a true bargain at £2.99.
Author: Lechuguilla from Dallas, Texas Source IMDB.
With its scenes of cars and motorcycles gunning down the road, its voice overs from a youthful Arlo Guthrie, its attempts at humor, and its generally nonchalant tone, "Alice's Restaurant" may strike some viewers as nothing more than the hippie version of "The Dukes Of Hazard". Why was this film made? What's the point?
In 1969, the film's creators assumed that viewers "got it" ... the clothes, the lingo, the character's motivations, ... ergo, no explanations needed. And none were needed then, or so long as the political and social environment of 1969 continued.
But it didn't continue. The world changed. America changed. Now, 36 years later, the film's clownish images and vapid script suggest a cinematic shallowness, bordering on burlesque, rather than an effort to impart a meaningful message. We are thus forced to consult historical points of reference, to make sense of what we see and hear.
In this film, as in other 60's counterculture films like "Easy Rider", the plot is secondary. To tell a story is less important than to communicate a powerful philosophy. Invariably, that philosophy would include some reference to personal freedom, resentment of institutional authority, peace, and non-materialistic values.
In "Alice's Restaurant", therefore, the clothes, the lingo, and the character's motivations are expressions of that "Age Of Aquarius" philosophy. Had the film's creators explained, by way of script or visuals, the underlying rationale for this philosophy, they could have rendered a timeless message to future generations.
As it is, the film now has mostly nostalgic appeal to older viewers who need no explanations. To young viewers, who lack historical reference points, the film may seem like some quaint period piece, that has almost no relevance, in an era of capitalistic exploitation and lost idealism.
A really honest review but if this type of film interests you, and you haven't seen it already, you're in for a rare treat !
You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant !!