"Would you like to go with me on a date?" I asked the little Wom, my Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf.
Where are we going?
"I want to take you to see a movie about cooking."
He looked at me skeptically. Where are Daddy and R- going to go?
Darn this kid knows me too well! "They are going to see a movie that is not appropriate for you." There, I admitted it. Our movie date was to distract him from the fact that he was being left out of a big-boy movie. Great.
Okay. Are you taking me out for dinner first?
"No, we're all going to have dinner together at home. Then we're all going to the theatre. You and I are going to see one movie and Daddy and R- are going to see another movie."
We were there on opening night for our area and the theatre was packed. D looked around and noticed that he was the only child in the entire room. And, really, I was probably one of the youngest adults by at least two decades as well. Mom, are you sure that this is a kid-friendly movie?
"I'm sure." I explained that I had read the book and really loved it...and assured him that he would love it since he was such a good cook. He settled back in his seat and watched the previews in silence.
I am usually very cautious about going to movies when I have read - and adored - the book. The filmmakers rarely live up to my expectations. But let me start with this: The Hundred Foot Journey is incroyable. It is, admittedly different from the book; but if you look at it as a self-contained creation - and don't think about the details that were left out from the book - it's outstanding and a must-see if you enjoy cooking or eating! And I have to admit that I loved that it was rated PG. There are too few movies appropriate for my kids' ages that aren't animated.
Papa, who was D's favorite character, discovers an abandoned restaurant and decides to settle there and open an Indian restaurant. Just across the street - one hundred feet away - is Le Saule Pleureur, a Michelin-starred restaurant owned by Madame Mallory, played by Helen Mirren. You can imagine the clash of cultures, right? The atmosphere at Maison Mumbai is festive and loud; Le Saule Pleureur is refined and aloof. Think plastic placemats versus starched white linens.
I'm not going to say any more except this. One of my favorite exchanges in the movie - and there were many - was this conversation about Hassan...
"Is he as good as I think he is?" queries Papa.
"He's better," admits Madame Mallory.
"I mean tonight."
No, Sweetheart, it just opened in the theatres tonight. It's not going to be out on DVD for awhile.
"Okay, but as soon as it's out? Can we get it...because I want to watch it again and again."
"Since we can't buy the DVD, will you buy me an ice cream while we wait for Daddy and R-? Or sea urchins? I think we should cook sea urchins like Hassan did."
Yes to the ice cream. Maybe to the sea urchins...but not tonight.
Is this movie as good as you think it will be? It's better! And if anyone has an sea urchin recipes, I'm all ears. I have a feeling D is going to hold me to cooking sea urchins a la Hassan.