Well, well, well..."The Hundred-Foot Journey" is a sensory delight, but the Hundred-Foot Journey has Lasse Hallstrom's hundred footprints all over it. Not in a bad way, just in a way that we have seen before in "Chocolat." Lasse Hallstrom directed that too.
Don't get me wrong, I adored the movie, just as I thoroughly enjoyed "Chocolat." In this movie, a family is displaced from their native India where they owned a wonderful family restaurant. Due to nasty circumstances, their restaurant suffered an early fate. Off they went on a journey to find a place to open a new restaurant.
Again fate intervenes and they settle in a small town in France where they are not welcome due to prejudices of the local townsfolk. Chief among their detractors is the owner of a Michelin one-star restaurant across the street from their newly purchased dump-of-a-building. She sets out to make their life miserable; but the father of the Indian clan matches her in a war of wits point-for-point.
While many of the attributes of "Chocolat" play a part in this film, it is worth seeing. Once again, you will see close-ups of food, the windows of the soul (eyes), and pretty scenery.
This movie has heart and soul and will keep you entertained with some delightfully funny scenes led by the great Helen Mirren who plays a Frenchwoman about as stiff as they come (modeled after the role of the mayor in "Chocolat"). I especially loved the interplay between the two families/restaurants. Of course there is a lovely lady who works for the Michelin restaurant and just happens to be the love interest of the cook at Maison Mumbai. (The usual plot complication.)
At a couple of crucial points tears were welling up in my eyes, but they didn't come out. However, at the end of the movie, just when I thought I wasn't going to become mushy, I blinked and sure enough tears rolled down my cheeks. Very well done. I give it 3-1/2 stars. It would have been more stars, but it so reminded me of "Chocolat" that the other 1-1/2 stars are missing here.
Happy movie-going. I believe you will like "The Hundred-Foot Journey."
I'm going to make today a "double-feature" movie day like we used to have growing up. I plan to see "Guardians of the Galaxy" in 1/2 hour.
See you in a few hours with another review. Travel Bug, the movie critic, out.