June 28, 2004 12:00 PM

HBO (Sat., June 26, 9 p.m. ET)


It has no stars, very little action and a title that suggests something mundane. Still, don’t pass up this flavorful ensemble piece.

The slice-of-life film focuses on a venerable Brooklyn diner that stands in the path of progress–a grand plan for condos and trendier eateries. The young Jewish owner (Jordan Gelber) decides to sell out to the developers and delegates his 60-year-old black maitre d’ (Stephen McKinley Henderson) to tell the staff–mostly black and Hispanic–that the place will close in a few weeks. As the day goes on, racial tensions surface, guilt feelings grow, and lives are reassessed. Some viewers may feel the ending leaves too many options open, but the varied characters really breathe, and the small, revealing moments will stay with you.

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