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Isaach De Bankolé
'American Cuisine' tries to do for French cuisine what 'Big Night' did for Italian cuisine and 'Eat Drink Man Woman' did for Chinese cuisine, but it lacks what those two films had - a plot. The movie is about a young American chef named Loren who goes to France to work in the kitchen of his idol, the famous Louis Boyer. It is meant to be a fast paced romp, but ends up a mess as new plot devices are thrown in every other minute. For example, Loren goes from being the slowest chef in the restaurant to taking charge of the operation when Louis Boyer goes mad. That is another implausability -- Boyer is eccentric at best, but certainly not crazy enough to shut down his restaurant or tear apart his family. No matter though. The movie's purpose was to show off the excitement of French culinary art, and it does that well. Plus, the performances by Eddy Mitchell as Chef Boyer, Irene Jacob as his daughter, and Isabelle Petit-Jacques as the nerve-wracked partner of the restaurant (was she also Boyer's wife?) are very charming. Jason Lee, on the other hand, seems to have been miscast. His performance was a bit amateurish. Still, the movie is worth a watch if only to see the food.
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