Thursday, August 14, 2014

FILM REVIEW: The Hundred-Foot Journey

A spoonful of Helen Mirren goes a long way.
Today I saw a good movie with a bad title. (I completely forgot the title even as it flashed on the screen, but looked it up when I got home.) The Hundred-Foot Journey -- who names a movie with a hyphen in it? -- stars Helen Mirren, an actress I could watch do absolutely nothing and feel like I got my money's worth. I didn't know anyone else in the cast; several were Indian actors and perhaps they are stars in India. The only other big names belong to the producers, Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey, who remained off-screen, one assumes counting their money.

The movie comes down to this: People love food. Going out to eat is the first thing everyone wants to do, and if they don't go out they stay home and have big dinner parties and barbecues. So filmmakers, no dummies, are picking up on that and producing more "watch us cook delicious food" movies, where you get to see delicacies you can't afford being prepared and eaten for the two hours you are not actually stuffing your own face. This is one of those.

The plot revolves around two rival restaurants, one French and one Indian, separated by only 100 feet as they are situated directly across the street from one another. This is preposterous but fun to watch in a fairy tale sort of way. It's all set in a dreamy French village where you'll want to move and live happily ever after the second you leave the theater.

There's a handsome, young Indian chef and a beautiful, young French sous-chef; right away you know those two will get together. There's a curmudgeonly Indian widower just perfect for Mirren's uppity French widow; right away you know those two will get together. There's comedy folded into drama and culinary arts whisked with romance--a perfect recipe for box office success. Throw in a few tearful moments telegraphing that this is a chick flick, and it's done!

Unless your man is the sensitive type, see it with a girlfriend. I did and we had a grand time.

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