Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
Sometimes a place is as much a character in the story of a city as is a citizen; that certainly appears to be the case with Florent, the diner in New York City’s meat packing district. Opened during a time when the neighbourhood was mainly a handful of leather bars, Florent welcomed all who came through its doors for just over twenty years before rising rental costs pushed its owner into closing the place. This sweet valentine of a documentary interviews regulars, employees and even a few celebrities (including Julianne Moore and Isaac Mizrahi) who frequented the place, noting the passion of its owner Florent Morellet to make sure that the food was as satisfying as the atmosphere was fun. The film even charts the diner’s brief forays into Hollywood cameos (including the episode of Sex and the City that had a scene take place there). It’s actually a very enjoyable look at how the closing of a business can, for some, mark the end of an era, and a significant chapter in the development of the Big Apple’s cultural transitions.