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Kees van Nieuwkerk
Fedja van Huêt
Dutch rom-com is light-hearted but strikes the right notes
"Soof" (2013 release from the Netherlands; 96 min.) brings the story of Soof, a woman in her late 30s who is married with three kids and wondering whether this is all there is to it. As the movie opens, we see her making love to her husband Kasper, "now 1455 times in this marriage". Pretty soon we understand why she is having doubts: her catering business is not doing well, her three kids (a rebellious teenage daughter and a set of young twin boys) are more than a handful, and her marriage seems on cruise control, without much passion (not in the least because her husband is always away for work). Then one day she meets an American at a party she is catering, and he falls for Soof big time. Will Soof fall for his advances? Or will she work on improving her marriage? To tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all works out.
Couple of comments: this movie is a rom-com with a Dutch foodie twist. The script is loosely based on the columns of well-known foodie columnist Sylvia Witteman. As a result, the movie has a strong foodie undertone, reminding me of that recent Jon Favreau movie "Chef". The tone of the movie is quite light and a chuckle is never far away. Much of the movie's success must be attributed to the acting performance of Lies Visschedijk in the title role. She oozes charm from start to finish and you can't help but root for her to succeed both in her love life and in her catering business. This movie was a HUGE box office smash in the Netherlands and also did quite well in several other European markets, and a sequel has been mentioned. If that is true, sign me up! I saw this movie recently at the Silverspot Cinema in Naples, FL, where a bunch of movies from the recent Palm Beach International Film Festival were featured. As it happens, the screening of "Soof" was done without English subtitles, due to a mistake. It didn't bother me in the least (Dutch being my mother tongue), but incredibly, the others in the theater (who were not Dutch speakers) remained for the entire screening, even without the benefit of the subtitles! If you are in the mood for a light-hearted rom-com, albeit with a Dutch twist, you cannot go wrong with this. "Soof" is definitely worth checking out, if you get the chance.
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