Monday, November 23, 2015

Foodie’s Delight-Today’s Special-A Film Review

Foodie’s Delight-Today’s Special-A Film Review   

DVD Review

From The Pen Of Frank Jackman

Today’s Special, starring Aasif Mandvi, 2009


No question these days with the craze for food shows and the creation of a whole cable channel devoted to just about every aspect of culinary preparation that you cannot go wrong if you are a filmmaker in producing a film centered on the struggle to make a name for yourself in the business. Make it slightly exotic, make it slightly multi-cultural, make it slightly intergenerational, make it in polyglot New York City, Brooklyn better these days than Manhattan for the diversity look add in the immigrant quest back story into the mix and you have an enjoyable film  labelled appropriately enough Today’s Special (which also is a recurring motif within the film)    

Here’s how the foodie craze plays out in this one. Samir a son of an Indian immigrant has been working his ass off just like everybody else in mostly low pay, long hours, little thanks restaurant industry in a high end noveau cuisine as a sou chef expecting to move onward and upward due to his hard work and diligence. No soap, no soap when the king hell chef gives the upward mobile job to some kid and to add insult to injury says Samir doesn’t have the magic hand to be a great chef. In a fit of hubris Samir quits with the idea, a very good idea at that, of going to Paris and making a name for himself there. No soap, no soap again because Samir’s father, an owner of a failing Indian cuisine restaurant has a heart attack when Samir tells him his plans. So naturally all plans on hold Samir just has to take care of his father’s business, something he had been running away from all his life.  

Since the push on this one is a rags to riches story, the failing endeavor to successful endeavor variant which Hollywood and Bollywood loves Samir turns this restaurant around. First by getting a max daddy chef posing as a cabdriver to end all chefs to come and work for him. Everything is on the upswing from there, the business starts getting better, the max daddy chef teaches Samir a few things and Samir’s love life takes an upswing when a foxy-looking young Anglo woman who used to work at Samir’s old place gives him some play. End of story. Well not quite the end since Samir has to go through a process to become that magical chef that was hidden within him. Worse though is that Samir’s father tries to undercut him by trying to sell the place. But as in all things culinary the tensions get worked out and all the intergenerational, multi-cultural, and striving immigrant have a happy ending. Yes definitely a feel good movie.       


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