Director: Lasse Hallstrom
Writer: Steven Knight
Cast: Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal, Charlotte Le Bon
Studio: DreamWorks/Touchstone

“The Hundred-Foot Journey” focuses on the Kadam Family, as they flee their homeland for the culinary haven of France. Hassan is the foodie in his family, but his father wants to squash those dreams. Hassan’s dad opens his tiny Indian eatery across the street from one of the greatest restaurants in the country. Naturally, things don’t turn out so how for the new eatery. But, youthful Hassan dreams of venturing over to the other side of the street to master French cuisine. This gives Lasse Hallstrom the room to return to “Chocolat” mode and produce some of the best foodie porn this side of “Babette’s Feast”.

Helen Mirren does amazing work as the semi-villain head of the superstar French restaurant. But, Hassan is too busy trying to put the moves on young French chef Marguerite. When Hassan and Marguerite are together and working on food, the movie is simply magic. Then, it turns into romantic comedy-drama schlock and the film falls apart. In case you’re wondering, you’re still getting “The Shipping News” era Lasse Hallstrom with this one. I can’t think of a serious director who is this schizo in terms of the production quality. I thought “Hachi” and “Salmon Fishing in the Yemen” marked a return to form for the man. Easy come, easy go.

Madame Mallory represents a section of conservative France that I’ve only seen in the media when it came to Bardot’s recent xenophobic rants. That being said, the matter of the imperial nature shown towards to the emerging world flavor and tastes is cartoonish at best. That being said, it’s Helen Mirren and she can land an Award for reading the phone book. Mirren makes the most out of a surprisingly lackluster script from Steven Knight. I’d like to think that the final product is non indicative of Knight’s abilities, especially after watching his tremendous “Locke” recently. Basically, what we have here is a late summer movie for your mother. She’ll love it.

RELEASE DATE: 08/08/2014

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