MOVIE REVIEW - The 100 Foot Journey

on 14 August 2014.

The summer movie season is in full swing, with plenty of animation and action. And a nice little movie that will get lost in it all, is The 100 Foot Journey.

This is a little independent movie starring the wonderful Helen Mirren and a very nice supporting cast that takes us on a journey we have not been on before. Anytime we see a truly original story it always gets high marks with me.  This is a nice movie, that overall lacks the total and real fun charm of many independent movies. But in the end, is pretty darn good and nice distraction at the theaters right now.

This is the story of an Indian family who chooses to leave India due to political unrest.  They are in the restaurant business and want to open an Indian cuisine eatery in the middle of rural France.  But they have a few problems.  First, they are somewhat low on money, and there may not be any real market for true Indian food there. They also choose to buy an old  restaurant right across the cobblestone road from an amazing established French restaurant that is run by Madame Mallory (Mirren).  She is a judgmental perfectionist with a sizable pole in a certain area, who is consumed with the success of her place. It is her whole life.  She wants no part of the new Indian place, or it's family running it.

Our story centers though around the young Indian Chef, Hassan, (Manish Dayal) who could possibly be the best chef in all of Europe if he can just get a break.  Will be be discovered?  And will these two opposing restaurants be able to exist in harmony?   And what can both sides learn from each other that has nothing to do with the food business at all? 

This is really very well done, with a real nice mix of subtle comedy, and a very nice dose of old school romantic comedy tossed in.  This introduces us to a slew of very likable characters that are fresh and bright. Also, except for Mirren, there are a whole bunch of fresh acting faces here that gives this a nice feel of real.  Especially in the case of Charlotte Le Bon, who plays an insanely likable love interest of Hassan.  She is wonderfully flawed and incredibly real and authentic. She is pivotal to making this really nice.

This movie is a bit too long, and there are a few draggy points where it suddenly looses its charm.  Being honest, I was nervous that halfway through they were going to blow this, but it rebounds and ends up being the movie that it should.  This is made by the same producers that gave us the wonderful Chocolat' a few years ago, and this does have the same feel.  A comedy of sorts, with still a some backbone and soul.

The 100 Foot Journey.  This will get lost in the summer shuffle, but this is pretty darn good, and fresh.

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