The Hundred-Foot Journey

[3.0 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

This is one of those movies I think of as aimed squarely at the PBS demographic. Telltale signs:

  • Helen Mirren

  • France

  • Multiculturalism. In this case: Indian, as in "from India".

  • The resulting cultural clash. In this case: between the frogs and the wogs.

  • Attractive ethnic young person struggling against the odds to achieve personal and professional success. In this case: Hassan is a gifted chef, but will he be able to break into the tradition-bound restaurant scene, and also get the girl?

  • Metaphorical title. It's the distance between the Indian restaurant run by Hassan's dad and the traditional hoity-toity French restaurant across the road. But—wow, man—the real distance in terms of culture and effort is much longer. I mean, think about it, man.

  • Lines of dialogue meant to be inspirational, but come out wooden. ("Five mother sauces. You must find them in your heart. Then, bring them to your pots. That's the secret.")

  • Hugging. Lots of hugging.

You might think I didn't like it. Mostly, I did! But this genre's components are nearly as predictable as your average romantic comedy, slasher flick, or superhero blockbuster.

Anyway: if you have a foodie PBS watcher in the house, you could do worse.