As lifeless as a deflated soufflé…blander than boiled cabbage…plainer than white rice…zero Michelin stars. It’s dull, stale, tedious, vapid. Do not consume.
And, despite warnings, I did. At first glance, the movie does not seem any more contrived than every other romantic comedy. Top chef’s wife dies in a car accident, he loses his Midas touch, locks horns with a feisty restaurant critic, resurrects his career at a village pub, finally wins critic’s heart. And he has a cute kid.
But for all the love and food and Gordon Ramsay in this ninety minute exercise, it is entirely bereft of soul. One wonders if real-life pair Dougray Scott and Claire Forlani, as leads Rob and Kate, have exhausted all their passion off-screen. They bring surprisingly little chemistry to their roles, and their pre-coupling quarrels have the sharpness of dueling feather dusters. They certainly aren’t aided by their supporting cast whose main task, judging by the insipid dialogue, is to fill up space.
Perhaps most unfortunate in a movie about love in kitchens is the utter lack of food porn. My Facebook feed has more enticing pictures. Not one juicy image of ‘quails eggs on a bed of shredded leeks, Scottish smoked salmon, lightly pickled cucumber and oatcakes’ or that orgasmic trifle that seduces all the characters. The most delectable dish was instead a rubbery cheese wrapped sole, eyes intact.
There are two saving graces to this movie though. One is Simon Callow, who plays a drunk food critic on the telly. He chews and smacks and sloshes his way deliciously through his scenes, and one hopes he was actually drunk during filming.
The second concerns my own culinary education. I discovered ‘trifle’, as in my part of the world, our epicurean tastes don’t generally extend beyond powdered pudding, which I much prefer to this movie.
Released: 2011 Prod: Crispin Manson Dir: James Hacking Writer: James Hacking Cast: Dougray Scott, Claire Forlani, Lee Boardman, Michelle Ryan, Matthew Clancy, Holly Gibbs, Gordon Ramsay, Simon Callow, Peter Bowles, Cherie Lunghi Time: 93 min Lang: English Country: United Kingdom Reviewed: 2013