Movie Review: ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’ Is A Journey Meant For Home Viewing

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I really want to recommend ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’ as something more than a casual rental for you to check out some time down the line, but I just can’t. The big screen screams to have a purpose and this innocently precious little equality tale has nothing to draw audiences in outside its kind heart. There are way too many Hollywood cliches, meet cutes, and predictable turns to warrant a $10 price tag.

Still, that doesn’t mean it is all bad. In fact, many will read what I’m saying and think I’m crazy or that my disliking this film is the reason they don’t listen to film critics. That’s okay. My goal is not to tell you that you are wrong for liking it, but to save people from spending money on something that is just not worth it. If you are truly bent on seeing the film then, by all means, have at it.

The story here revolves around an Indian family of cooks who are forced to move after their restaurant is burned to the ground and their mother is killed. After years of traveling they decide to settle in a small town in France. The papa (Om Puri) believes that their car breaking down is a sign from above and that is their reason for picking the particular town. The whole thing is kind of silly, but most generic Hollywood movies are.

The restaurant they decide to open is right across the street from the most popular French restaurant in town. This restaurant is La Saule Pleureur and the head mistress is a seemingly cold woman named Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren). Of course, in the typical fashion, the papa and Madame Mallory have a bit of a feud. However, that feud is quickly put to rest when Madame Mallory discovers that papa’s son, Haddam (Manish Dayal) is an amazing chef.

This leads to a story about two very different cultures finding something in each other and breaching their divide. It also has a subplot involving Haddam and a young cook at La Saule named Margueritte (Charlotte Le Bon). This is typically sweet, but nothing you haven’t seen a million times over. Still, it is harmless enough and many will find it charming.

So, if you are getting tired of all the typical summer blockbusters and want something simple to swallow then this is a movie for you. Yet, if you really don’t care and are just wanting an adult alternative then I would push you towards a movie like ‘Boyhood’. It’s a million times better. You can catch this one at the Redbox in a couple of months and you won’t have missed a thing.

Nathan Ligon

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