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A warm-hearted look an American and French Food and Culture
I happened to see this movie on the WE - Women's Entertainment Channel the other night, and I found myself fascinated by it from start to finish. I can't wait till it's on again to tape it. While following the format of a light, romantic comedy, this movie takes a close look at some of the details of food and its place in society. It follows the career of an American would-be master chef from seeing why he is dishonorably discharged from the navy to life in his family's pizza parlor to the chance to go to France and study under a French "multi-star" chef. The comedy comes from a good natured mockery of the various pomposities of the chefs, sous-chefs, food critics, tax inspectors, doctors, etc. I thought the plot was quite elaborate, and I liked all the little elements of the movie that gave it the complex flavor of a good pot a feu -- the fight at the market, the dance lessons by the middle eastern kitchen cleaner, the tantric yoga sessions, etc. Even the restaurant's little white panel truck, which you see all over the place in France (they even use them up in the vineyards). I read the few reviews that this movie received, and I think the film is grossly under-rated. There are only a few minor dubbing problems, which I barely noticed. The acting is uniformly good, and you're left with a great feeling, and the urge to go out to eat at a good French restaurant right away! I would urge people to find the movie and watch it -- even though it apparently is not available in any format except German pal videotape. Check it out on WE.
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