Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios/Motion Pictures

The Hundred-Foot Journey

04:00 August 11, 2014
By: David Vicari

** ½ out of ****

A family from India move to the countryside of France and opens an eatery across the street from a French restaurant. The french owner, a Cruella De Vil-type widow, Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren), isn't amused and does what she can to shut the Indian place down. Hassan (Manish Dayal), the young chef from India, however, is a brilliant cook and he soon becomes smitten with Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon), the cute sous chef from the French establishment. 

The Hundred-Foot Journey is silly and sweet fluff and a decent time-killer. The best part is the budding romance between Madame Mallory and Hassan's stubborn father (Om Puri). It's predictable, but Mirren and Puri really elevate the material. They are charming together.

The film is an adaptation of Richard C. Morais' book, and it's the adaptation that is the problem here. It seems like the screenplay, credited to Steven Knight, tries to stuff too much material into a two-hour movie resulting in some rushed storytelling. This generally cripples the front half and back half of the movie. Journey is at its strongest in its middle section when it is taking its time.

The Hundred-Foot Journey is nowhere near as good as Chef from earlier this summer, but it's not too bad either.

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