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Reviews & Ratings for
Today's Special More at IMDbPro »

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21 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Surprisingly delightful comedy

8/10
Author: fruitypoundcake from Massachusetts
11 November 2010

The Daily Show's Aasif Mandvi stars in this surprisingly enjoyable, funny yet heartfelt comedy. Samir works at a premiere restaurant in New York City as the second in command chef of the kitchen, much to the disappointment of his parents. His mother wants to find him a nice Indian-Muslim wife; his father berates Samir and compares him to his deceased brother.

Samir is forced to help out at the family's failing, run-down Indian restaurant -- much to his dismay, because he doesn't know how to cook Indian food. In the process of learning to run the family restaurant and to cook Indian, Samir learns to loosen up and live a little, which begins to show in his cooking.

Probably the best thing about this movie is the eccentric and funny cast of supporting characters, including Samir's parents, the staff at the family restaurant, and a very quirky, free-spirited taxi driver (Naseeruddin Shah, who is excellent).

Of course, Indian food plays a very big part in the story, and the close-up shots of the food will leave you hungry and wanting more.

The story manages to be touching and feel-good without being too syrupy or predictable. Anyone who comes from a traditional background or culture will be able to see parallels between Samir's parents -- who came to New York to struggle for the sake of their children -- and their own. The movie could have done without the budding romance between Samir and Carrie, a chef at Samir's workplace, but otherwise it is a well-written movie with lots of humor and charm.

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20 out of 23 people found the following review useful:

Delightful ethnic comedy!

9/10
Author: kathik from Minneapolis, MN
26 April 2010

The excellent comedic talent, Aasif Mandvi, plays a lovable character named Samir in a very funny comedy about Samir's life in New York. He works as a sous chef in a nice restaurant with the hope of becoming a full chef in his boss's newly opening restaurant. When that position fails to materialize for him, Samir quits in a huff and decides to move to Paris for an unpaid position with a famous chef there.

Not too surprisingly, it turns out he needs to stay in New York because of a family crisis (I won't say what) and Samir's help is needed with the family business. A thoroughly delightful story follows that is full of heart and full of humor, for a totally enjoyable experience! Highly recommended!

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15 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Light hearted, but surprisingly deep look at aspirations and culture.

8/10
Author: DLPOppo from United States
9 March 2012

This movie was filled with humor, which made the family conflicts (mother's aspirations for her son, and father's grief over a loss), bearable and at times downright funny. The cultural baggage of the Indo-Pakistani participants was both credible and (fortunately) not exaggerated.

This is a film about relationships: an aspiring chef to his food and public, a mother and father to a son, and the lead character to a co-worker. Perhaps the most interesting and important relationship turns out to be between Akbar the cab driver and the would be chef. There are not a lot of well done portrayals of a wise mentor and carrying this one off with a gentle light shined on both life and food, was surprisingly effective.

All in all, very entertaining with a many good messages, presented without appearing preachy.

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16 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Excellent cast, story and direction

8/10
Author: chuckbutler
15 November 2010

Today's Special is a movie with a great mix of humor, family, romance and humanity. It has nothing that I consider objectionable but I also think that it has very little that will appeal to kids. Although the end is a bit predictable and a bit slow at times (thus making it not a 10), it's one of the most entertaining films I've seen this year (and I've seen a lot of movies this year).

I would like to know why I don't remember seeing Naseeruddin Shah (who plays the memorable character Akbar (the cab driver/chef))in a movie before. He's the best of an excellent cast.

I found myself caring a great deal for the main character Samir (Assif Mandiv) which doesn't happen often in most movies I see (even the good ones). Today's Special centers entirely on the characters and the story. If your looking for a movie with lots of computer generated images (CGI) and/or other special effects and/or stunts and/or violence and/or action and/or sex, go see something else.

It was nice to see a movie that doesn't stereotype Muslims as terrorists and that many in the audience clapped for when it was over. I think most adults who enjoy a few very good laughs and a good story will enjoy this movie a great deal.

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10 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Evoked a gastronomic delight in Indian cuisine...inspiring with a peculiar sense of humor

9/10
Author: Srinivas Bulusu from Ottawa Canada
12 February 2012

Rating and review:***** A great movie for the weekend. Funny and also will definitely stir your appetite or may even motivate the Chef hiding within you to get into the kitchen if you are a foodie !! I enjoyed and chuckled with the idiosyncratic behavior of the characters in the movie. It well depicted, with humor the generation gap of ethnic Indians raised in the West. No one else could have fit into the role Naseeruddin Shah played. cheers ! I wish more movies of this genre are made. I love the concept of blending into the Western culture while preserving the roots of ones own as show in this movie. That makes people more interesting. Enough of monotonous meat and potatoes I say !!

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15 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

An absolute joy. If you're not happier at the end then you need to take some medication.

9/10
Author: alan-51-111974 from Hong Kong
8 February 2012

Yes this is a feel good movie and in some ways an adult coming of age movie but it's in no way stupid or trite.

The performances of all are impeccable, even the smallest of characters seem real and fully formed. The soundtrack is also fabulous.

Some of the plot I could see coming about a mile in advance but I really didn't care because I was enjoying it so much.

The Daily Show's Aasif Mandvi co-wrote and starred in this, this may put some more conservative viewers off but then they probably wouldn't watch the movie anyway because it's about Muslims in New York. I may be turning into Bill Maher.

I guess there's really no reason why I should try to persuade conservatives to watch it... except... it's a gem. Warning... may contain brown people.

It's sensitive, heartwarming, funny and uplifting without too many obvious clichés and as Aasif Mandvi's first movie, it's a triumph for him and a joy for us.

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10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Relevant, witty, and uplifting.

8/10
Author: slackergirl42 from United States
21 February 2012

This is a heartfelt, amusing film starring Aasif Mandvi, mostly known for his work as a Daily Show correspondent. It's not quite as funny as I expected from a comedian of his caliber; not because he tried and failed, but because it's more of a quirky story of a personal journey. But there were definitely a good number of lines that were so funny I had to repeat them out loud to myself. It's a bit slow in the beginning (could have used some tighter editing), but give it some time to build. Naseeruddin Shah is magic, as always. If you know his work, nothing more needs to be said. If not, watch this and enjoy. (And I gotta say, I think he looks damn good for his age!) It is not a coincidence that the song Akbar (Shah) is listening to when Samir (Mandvi) first meets him is from a classic Hindi film in which the character says that although all his clothes come from other countries, his heart is still Indian. Samir has tried to cut himself off from Indian traditions, even while his parents are attempting to shove them down his throat; the more they push, the more he pulls away, and vise versa. Throughout the film, with help from unexpected places, he learns to reconcile his western life with his heritage, and appreciate where he came from.

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9 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Good film, great fun

9/10
Author: Molly Stokes
10 January 2012

This is a really cute little film that will leave you feeling great, as well as hungry! All of the food looks awesome, and I like the way that they talk about it with such passion. Perfect film for chilling at home with some Indian takeout.

Aasif Mundvi is of course awesome as the caustic sarcastic Senior Muslim Correspondent on the Daily Show, but he shows a different side to his acting as the determined but troubled Samir. Naseeruddin Shah is brilliant as the taxi driver/chef. I loved his references to this crazy life that he has lead, and the way he really demonstrates passion and skill at cooking. Madhur jaffrey was a nice surprise as well. I have only seen her on the cover of cookbooks and jars of sauce, I didn't realize she could act as well! The story is simple but well told. You really feel for Aasif, and this is what carries the film along. Definitely recommend buying it on DVD when it comes out Jan 24th.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Very Warm and Memorable Film

10/10
Author: bradofathousandnights from United States
2 May 2012

My wife and I sat down expecting to see a low budget flick. Turns out, the acting, plot, sets and script are engaging and warm. A real family film also touching on generational issues as well as the love of doing something one really loves and overcoming fear in just living one's life

The only negative (and a minor point) is that there were no subtitles, causing one to really concentrate on some actors as the some were, at times, hard to understand. However, this also made us concentrate even more on watching the film and may have even added to overall appreciation

Very enjoyable.A very touching and human movie.

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Wow great movie... left me smiling =)

10/10
Author: jayzdude from United States
29 April 2012

Saw this movie floating around on netflix. I was really bored one night and decided to check out the movie. I was glad I did, its one of those movies that just leaves you in a better mood than when you started: a feel good movie! The acting is good with really likable characters especially the cab driver/cook whose character I just love. I never really was a fan of The Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi. Didn't like the humor or anything too much but he is great in this movie and can actually act. Now fair warning, I liked this movie a lot in part due to my ability to relate/understand the culture behind the story (I am an Indian college student in the USA) and also love the old school Hindi songs in it (hooked me into the movie). The movie is also typical in some of its approach and formula, it isn't anything new or groundbreaking. But nonetheless it is very enjoyable and isn't just restricted to brown people lol. This movie is easy to relate to if you are a first generation foreigner (of any country IMO). It just enhances the movie experience. I'll definitely will be showing this movie to my friends. The movie fits a nice category of movies that isn't very abundant: a great light drama, semi romantic, light comedy. Another movie I would include in that category would be Morning Glory with Rachel McAdams.

Bottomline: give this movie a chance and watch it, you won't be disappointed!

Extra awesomeness--- Dennis Duffy (30 Rock) is in it (for a bit)! Love me some 30 Rock

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