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The Chef's Wife (2014)

On a failli être amies (original title)
The wife of a successful chef feels unfulfilled in her rôle as dining-room hostess and consults career counselor, who is herself dissatisfied by her useful but mundane place in the scheme ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Marithé Bressy
...
Carole Drissi
...
Sam Drissi
Philippe Rebbot ...
Pierre Perusel
Anne Le Ny ...
Nathalie Perusel
Philippe Fretun ...
Michel
Annie Mercier ...
Jackie
Marion Lecrivain ...
Dorothée
Yan Tassin ...
Théo
Marion Malenfant ...
Cynthia
Xavier De Guillebon ...
Vincent
Alain Stern ...
L'agent immobilier
Xavier Beja ...
Pascal
Pierre Diot ...
Le jogger
Jean-Gilles Barbier ...
Le militaire
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Storyline

The wife of a successful chef feels unfulfilled in her rôle as dining-room hostess and consults career counselor, who is herself dissatisfied by her useful but mundane place in the scheme of things. Without meaning to, the two women find their lives growing tangled together, with ever more complex tragicomic consequences. Written by Roger Downey

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Comedy

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Release Date:

8 March 2016 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Chef's Wife  »

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2.35 : 1
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French visa # 134757. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Both amusing and memorable
1 November 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Most English speakers are doubly disadvantaged when they watch French films. We don't understand the language, and we haven't had a strict French education, which ensures that most of the audience has been forced to get familiar with writers like Molière, la Fontaine, Beaumarchais, and Marivaux: all masters of a kind of dry, tart, ironic comedy we just don't have in English. 'The Chef's Wife' (the French title, which means 'We almost got to be friends,' is really on the mark) is in the main line of this tradition.

In a small but upscale country town, the wife of the chef at a fancy Michelin-starred restaurant is suffering mid-life career anxiety. She goes to a harried, fretful but dedicated occupational counselor for advice. So far so good; but both women are suffering from severe delusions about their real problems: the wife is an all-devouring co-dependent, the counselor (a divorcée) thinks she's a just-the-facts person, immune from emotional entanglements. Their collision, two black holes of need spiraling inward on each other, is the comic spine of the movie. At the focus of their orbits is the chef himself, a warm but uncommunicative man, who expresses his love in hors d'oeuvres and amuse-bouches, not in words.

The two women, played by veteran comédiennes with scores of films between them but working together for the first time, are utterly superb. The chef, played by an actor more usually seen with a pistol in his hand than a saucepan, is an ideal figure to engender deceptive fantasies. The rest of the cast, drawn from the seemingly bottomless well of superb French character actors, supports the principals with high honors. And the script, by actor/director Ann le Ny, is a sleek unobtrusive machine for producing awkward encounters and comic misunderstandings. This is French cinema with an accent aïgu: funny, even farcical, but never, never dumb.


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