Last Monday night I took the hundred foot journey to the Ziegfeld Theatre in New York City for the premiere of Chocolat, I mean, Disney's new movie The Hundred-Foot Journey. It's easy to mistake the two for one another, kind of like Nick Nolte and Gary Busey. My trusty companion for the evening was the lovely Miss New York (The next Miss America --I'm calling it!).
In attendance was the films producer Steven Spielberg, Actress Charlotte Le Bon and some very friendly Indians I didn't know (not to say I know any unfriendly Indians) Om Puri, Amit Shah and Manish Dayal. Oprah Winfrey the films co producer was also there with her life partner, as well as Stedman Graham. Gail and Oprah looked great and Stedman looked OK too, hey I'm not going to rate a dude unless he's John Stamos. Miss O seemed very friendly as I briefly shook her super soft hand that was like a billion dollar stick of warm butter, and from what I could see through her wall of security people she seemed quite happy to be there.
The red carpet was large in comparison to the number of celebrities who actually walked it, or didn't. That seemed strange to me considering it was an Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg movie. Then again, who's bigger than them?
The movie was a gastronomic love story--or for some, a gastrointestinal story (Curry doesn't agree with everyone). In a pinon nutshell, the movie is about the Kadam's, a family of cooks from Mumbai whose house burns down and Mama Kadam dies in the fire. They end up traveling through France where their car breaks down in a small French Village (These people seriously have the worst luck) on their way to London in search of a new life ( And better vegetables). Papa Kadam (Om Puri) sees this as a sign, and decides to buy a dilapidated house (Because, apparently that's cheaper than repairing a car) and turns it into a restaurant that serves Indian cuisine 100 feet across the street from Madame Mallory's fancy French bistro, Madame is played by Helen Mirren (Who's awesome in every movie).
Madame Mallory isn't happy about the new competition and declares war on the Kadam family, then a tit-for-tat battle ensues. As the story unfolds, the 2 cultures learn to coexist, the son, Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal) who is a gifted cook, is taken under Mallory's wing, then falls in love with competing chef Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon) and becomes a Parisian culinary superstar, while romantic sparks ignite between Papa Kadam and Madame Mallory. There's a predictable happy ending (not that kind-- as it takes place in France not Thailand), and much like a happy ending, I definitely enjoyed it and felt quite satisfied at the end. The after-party was at the NYC hotspot called the Monkey Bar.
I say oui oui to this tasty heartfelt romantic film, it was a hundred-foot journey worth taking. After all, there's nothing wrong with feeding your belly and soul with a little corniness.