The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014, Lasse Hallström)

Remember thrice-oscar-nominated Lasse Hallström? I liked his Gilbert Grape, thought his Cider House was alright, then gave up after Chocolat, but he continues to turn out handsomely-shot romances about people realizing their true calling. Here you’ve got an expat Indian family run by Om Puri opening a restaurant across the street from a fancy/traditional French place run by snooty Helen Mirren. The family’s secret weapon is son Hassan (Manish Dayal of 90210 Remake), who takes a job across the street and becomes Mirren’s secret weapon, offending love interest Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon of Mood Indigo) since he becomes a chef before she does. Everyone is very concerned with getting star ratings from a travel guide (no mention of yelp reviews), and after Hassan earns a second star for Mirren he immediately moves to an ultra-cool place (ignoring the rule we learned from Ratatouille that if a head chef leaves a place it automatically loses a star), but loses his will to live in the cold city. Happy ending: Hassan returns to the countryside to open a French/Indian fusion place with Marguerite.

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