You know a movie is truly a food film when the meals made on set are real, everything is edible, and no one gets scolded for munching on the props. So says Hundred-Foot Journey director Lasse Hallström (also known for directing Chocolat). Hundred-Foot Journey, which opens on August 8, stars Helen Mirren, was produced by Steven Spielberg and Oprah Winfrey, and features a visual feast with ample food shots through the lens of a culture clash.It’s the story of an Indian family who unwittingly opens a restaurant in a small French town across the street from the “ice queen” owner (Mirren) of a well-established, Michelin-starred French restaurant next door, and what happens when two chefs from the rival restaurants fall in love.
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Critics have given the culinary-themed ‘Romeo and Juliet’ story mixed reviews. The Daily News says Hundred-Foot Journey “manages to be a full meal, using all the ingredients at its disposal,” whereas the Star Tribune says it “heaps on a heavy serving of corn.” The Tribune reviewer asks why food movies must always be, “so dewy-eyed, with everything tied up in a feel-good bow at the end.” On the late Roger Ebert’s website, the reviewer says that the film is one that “demands to be taken seriously,” and despite being “handsomely crafted, well-acted and even sufficiently enjoyable,” is actually pretty predictable.
To see for yourself, check out Hundred-Foot Journey in theaters nationwide on August 8.
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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter@JoannaFantozzi