Everywhere I look these days all I see is craziness for food. Not just food, although there is plenty of that, I’m talking new and exciting foods. There are even people that call themselves “foodies”. So you would figure someone would mix his or her passions and make a good movie about good food. Now there have been plenty of good movies about food, movies like “Big Night”, “Ratatouille”, “Chef”, and “Chocolat” by director Lasse Hallstrom. It seems Hallstrom loves food, or at least films about food a little more than some, because once again he is in the kitchen, and this time he brings us “The Hundred-Foot Journey”.
Hassan (Manish Dayal) likes to cook, well likes to watch his mother cook meals at his family’s restaurant. When a fire destroys everything and takes his mother’s life, Hassan’s Papa (Om Puri) packs the family up and movies to Europe from India. After things don’t work out in London, the family crosses the English Channel and fate brings them to a tiny village in France. Papa finds a house that is calling for him to open a restaurant, but this building just happens to be across the street from one of the best restaurants in all of France. Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren) runs a tight ship and is not at all happy with her new neighbors. Not following the rule of “Love Thy Neighbor”, Mallory and Papa are always trying to find something the other is doing wrong in order to have the upper hand. Caught in the middle of the hundred-foot war, Hassan, and one of Mallory’s Sue Chefs Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon) flirt with each other as she gives him books to help learn the art of cooking the French way. After an accident, Hassan is given a chance to cook for Mallory, and the result will change all their lives.
After watching this film I can give you one good tip, don’t go hungry, because the food just looks too good. While the food looks amazing, the rest of the film doesn’t live up to the main course. With a screenplay written by Steven Knight (Locke) based on the book by author Richard C. Morais the story feels like a recipe that didn’t turn out right. Is it a romantic story? Is it about people overcoming advisories and coming together? Is it about family? Throw in a dash of unhappiness and mixed with a little food porn and you get a slightly unfinished product. Just like when you add too much garlic or salt to a dish at home, the same can happen to a film that wants to be many things, but comes out over cooked. The good news is it isn’t a bad movie at all, it is just a film that is a little lost in what it wants to be, and a little long with it’s two hour run time. If this was a meal you made at home you would enjoy it, but after you finished, you just would feel like you could have done a better job.