Delicious Review

Posted: July 16, 2014 in Drama, Reviews
Tags: , , , , , ,

DeliciousA film with the premise of a romantic relationship between an aspiring French chef and a British woman with a eating disorder sounds absurd enough to be the next Farrelly Brothers project. The pitch practically writes itself: he prepares haute cuisine, she vomits. If only he can find the right recipe, they might just cook up a little magic together. Meanwhile, the kooky elderly neighbor dispenses love and life advice while entertaining a string of gentleman callers as the would-be chef steals the ingredients for his elaborate meals from the restaurant owned by the man he suspects is his real father.

It turns out that certain storylines are too offensive even for Bobby and Peter Farrelly. Delicious may well be the most unintentionally ironic film title ever, as it serves as the name for one of the most tasteless movie concoctions imaginable. Anyone who has known someone suffering from an eating disorder will likely be disturbed by how it is presented here. Those who have tried desperately to help a loved one with such a condition will be infuriated.

How idiotic is this film? The man, whom we know to be French because he periodically says, “merde,” locks the woman in her own apartment and refuses to let her leave until she eats some of the food he has prepared. It is not a question of whether or not the film shows that this treatment works. The mere fact that that this is part of his wooing of the woman is an abomination. And, spoiler alert, the film ultimately affirms that love and a good meal are all a bulimic really needs – by the end, she has lost her ability to purge because of his wonderful food.

We already knew this, of course, because the kooky neighbor told us.

“I might be a wrinkly old duffer, but it means I’ve been around a bit. And if I’ve learned anything, there’s only two things in life worth a hoot. Love and a good hot dinner. Don’t you think you should give them some thought?”

Therapists and other mental health practioners, please take note.

Louise Brealey is Stella, the downstairs bulemic who also displays symptoms of anorexia and alcoholism. Brealey is best known as Molly Hooper on the BBC series Sherlock, the woman who carries a torch for Holmes while working in the morgue. She has a natural quirkiness that would translate well to a romcom, but she suffers ritual, pointless humiliation in Delicious, with shots of her binge eating, vomiting, and studying her nude body in the mirror. Brealey is a good actress. She deserves better.

Nicholas Rowe, the Scotsman, plays the French cook, Adolf (and when did that name become a popular choice for film heroes). In one of the more bizarre coincidences, Rowe played Sherlock Holmes in the 1985 film, Young Sherlock Holmes. Naturally, in a film devoid of wit and subtlety, there is no sly acknowledgement or Easter egg referencing the Holmes connection between the two leads. Rowe is barely tolerable as a Frenchman and completely unconvincing as a cook.

Sheila Hancock is criminally bad as neighbor Patti, while Adrian Scarborough comes off as bewildered – and justifiably so – as the chef and restaurant owner who inexplicably hires Adolf without knowing the potential paternity linkage that no one should think to employ in a movie in 2014. It is one of the more minor transgressions that director/writer Tammy Riley-Smith commits here. On the plus side, the final shot of the movie is quite good. Riley-Smith should have saved it and used it in a more worthy cause.

Half a star.

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