Year:  2020

Director:  Barbara Topsøe-Rothenborg

Rated:  M

Release:  February 4, 2021

Distributor: The Reset Collective

Running time: 99 minutes

Worth: $8.50
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Karolina Hamm, Stina Ekblad, Kirsten Olesen

…generic self-discovery comedy.

The Danish film industry is an eclectic one – for every Another Round, you have The Food Club.

Berling, Vanja and Marie have been friends since childhood. Years later, the three are at similar stages of their lives, losing touch with loved ones and entering their twilight years. They decide to embark on a journey of self-discovery, travelling to Italy to take part in a cooking course.

The friendship the women share is the focal point of the film. On the surface, all three women are extremely different, but they exhibit a camaraderie. Their chemistry is one of the highlights of the film, thanks to the acting of Stina Ekblad, Karolina Hamm and Kirsten Olesen. The three together produce moments of comedy and drama, but when they are isolated the atmosphere falls flat; the characters by themselves are not interesting enough to warrant viewers’ attention. All momentum is lost when they do not share the spotlight together, resulting in a jarring energy. Some scenes life, while others are tedious, making it difficult to become invested.

Visually, The Food Club is pleasing to the eye. Shots of the Italian landscape feature heavily, and Italian culture is illustrated in a way that not only entices viewers but serves a purpose to the story. But unfortunately, the film’s tone fluctuates heavily and at times it appears to be a lengthy melodramatic sitcom, while at others it is comparable to an advertisement for pasta. It is difficult to properly understand what emotions director Barbara Topsøe-Rothenborg is trying to invoke from the viewer.

The story itself is far from original, however, the theme of aging is exhibited in a fresh, poignant way. The characters’ initial reluctance to grow old is honest and eye opening, with the character development and conclusion satisfying. Raw and honest emotion is occasionally on display, but not always present; at times, comedy is relied upon in moments which do not warrant it.

The ingredients for The Food Club to be an enjoyable film are present, but they are constructed in a way that the tone of the film is hard to gauge and the characters are unrelatable. What could have been a mature and entertaining display of women facing old age becomes another generic self-discovery comedy.


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