Table of Contents
Photo: ‘Food Club’/Netflix
Let me start off by saying I love Italy, I love comedies, and I love food, so I was fully looking forward to diving into this movie. I rented this film without even bothering to watch the trailer and while it started off extremely promising, around mid-way through I found myself questioning how I felt about the characters and their respective storylines. While it was extremely close to what I wanted it to be, it just didn’t exactly do the trick I was hoping for. The film really tried to throw in a few life lessons, some romantic storylines, and some risqué jokes that ultimately fell flat for me, and I’m here to explain why.
‘Food Club’ – Is this just another travel film?
‘Food Club’ is a Danish film directed by Barbara Topsøe-Rothenborg (‘One-Two-Three Now!’) that follows three women nearing their 70’s who have been best friends since childhood. While they have made a point to reunite at least once a year around Christmas time, their individual lives continuously get in the way and it becomes more difficult for them to find time for each other. That is until Marie (Karoline Hamm) is gifted a weeklong cooking course in Italy for her and her husband Henrik (Peter Hesse Overgaard) who viewers quickly find out has been having an affair with a younger lady living a few streets over.
A heartbroken Marie eventually makes time to meet up with her two best friends for lunch, Vanja (Kristen Oleson) a stubborn homebody who often spends her time with her dog and a bottle of wine next to her late husband’s gravesite, and Berling (Stina Eklad) a lavish and sometimes vulgar woman who seemingly forgets how to act her age which has subsequently driven a wedge between her and her daughter. Marie tells her pals about her husband’s affair along with the trip she was given for Christmas for her and Henrik. After some bickering and convincing, the three instead decide to embark on this trip of a lifetime together, minus the men (or lack thereof) in their lives.
The trio travels from Denmark to the beautiful Italian countryside where they stay in an exquisite rustic villa and learn to cook from the adorably passionate chef, Alessandro (Michele Venitucci). For most of the film, the three women have trouble living in the moment because they are too busy worrying about their lives back home. Marie’s behavior resembles a teenager as she is glued to her phone for most of the film hoping her husband will reach out to her, Berling can’t help but flirt with every Italian man she comes into contact with and resents the rocky relationship she has with her daughter, while Vanja can’t let go of her deceased husband even when a lovely man who is also staying in her villa attempts to pursue her. Over the course of a week, the three women lean on each other as they attempt to put to rest their past demons and seize the moment.
Why this film didn’t quite hit the mark
Like I mentioned before, I love watching anything that takes place in Italy. This may be one of the many reasons I have seen ‘Call Me By Your Name’ more times than I can count on my two hands and why the eighth episode of ‘Normal People’ remains my favorite. What I can confidently say was my favorite part of this film was that it allowed me to feel as if I was living out my Italian cooking dreams vicariously through these three women.
Click here to read more on Hollywood Insider’s vision, values and mission statement here – Media has the responsibility to better our world – Hollywood Insider fully focuses on substance and meaningful entertainment, against gossip and scandal, by combining entertainment, education, and philanthropy.
With the gorgeous scenery, deliciously colorful food, and authentic architecture it really painted a picture of the magical place they were vacationing in. So much to the fact that I even searched the web for weeklong cooking courses in Italy once the movie was over. While I thoroughly enjoyed the Italian landscape, cooking scenes, and wine stomping adventures, I regret to admit that I found many more weaknesses than strengths to report.
With many romantic comedies, the ending is often predictable which I can confirm is the case for ‘Food Review’. In the first quarter of the movie, the characters seemed promising and charming but sometime around forty-five minutes in, I felt as though the three women became unlikeable at times. Seeing Marie, an almost seventy-year-old woman glued to her phone to check her husband and his mistress’ Facebook status every few minutes seemed very unrealistic and Berling’s vulgar language, love for sex and marijuana I also found to be odd, given the assumed target audience. I understand they were all going through their own personal and quirky stumbling blocks that they ultimately needed to work through to reach a happy ending, but in my opinion the hang-ups were a little overboard and it took too long to get to the payoff.
Tricky genre to nail
I often have believed that films of this sort where characters are expected to “find themselves” by the end are tricky to nail. This genre is often exhausted and there are simply so many films with such similar storylines they all start sounding the same. Coming up with an original idea that also isn’t too farfetched to deter viewers can be difficult. Unless it is executed just perfectly, people are bound to critique where the film went wrong. I believe ‘Food Club’ was on the right track to being unique, especially with its attempt at making an older cast more youthful with their sultry and sometimes vulgar use of language and various subplots, but ultimately this film still didn’t quite play out the way I hoped it was going to.
Cast: Karoline Hamm, Stina Eklad, Michele Venitucci, Peter Hesse Overgaard, Kristen Oleson, Troels Lyby
Director: Barbara Topsøe-Rothenborg
Writer: Anne-Marie Olesen | Cinematographer: Mattias Troelstrup | Producers: Eva Juel Hammerich, Nina Lyng, Adriano Bassi, Lara Calligaro
Click here to read Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Black Lives Matter, in which he tackles more than just police reform, press freedom and more – click here.
An excerpt from the love letter: Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, “Hollywood Insider fully supports the much-needed Black Lives Matter movement. We are actively, physically and digitally a part of this global movement. We will continue reporting on this major issue of police brutality and legal murders of Black people to hold the system accountable. We will continue reporting on this major issue with kindness and respect to all Black people, as each and every one of them are seen and heard. Just a reminder, that the Black Lives Matter movement is about more than just police brutality and extends into banking, housing, education, medical, infrastructure, etc. We have the space and time for all your stories. We believe in peaceful/non-violent protests and I would like to request the rest of media to focus on 95% of the protests that are peaceful and working effectively with positive changes happening daily. Media has a responsibility to better the world and Hollywood Insider will continue to do so.”
More Interesting Stories From Hollywood Insider
– Want GUARANTEED SUCCESS? Remove these ten words from your vocabulary| Transform your life INSTANTLY
– Compilation: All James Bond 007 Opening Sequences From 1962 Sean Connery to Daniel Craig
– Do you know the hidden messages in ‘Call Me By Your Name’? Find out behind the scenes facts in the full commentary and In-depth analysis of the cinematic masterpiece
– A Tribute To The Academy Awards: All Best Actor/Actress Speeches From The Beginning Of Oscars 1929-2019 | From Rami Malek, Leonardo DiCaprio To Denzel Washington, Halle Berry & Beyond | From Olivia Colman, Meryl Streep To Bette Davis & Beyond
– In the 32nd Year Of His Career, Keanu Reeves’ Face Continues To Reign After Launching Movies Earning Over $4.3 Billion In Total – “John Wick”, “Toy Story 4”, “Matrix”, And Many More
food club, food club, food club, food club, food club, food club, food club, food club, food club, food club, food club, food club, food club, food club, food club, food club, food club, food club, food club, food club, food club
Alexa Sutherland is a writer for Hollywood Insider who enjoys writing film and television reviews. With a degree in creative writing and a previous background working in the entertainment industry, she enjoys putting both of her passions to use by highlighting upcoming shows and movies with powerful storylines and the messages behind them. She admires that the Hollywood Insider is strictly against scandal and instead builds people and projects up instead of tearing them down.