A film by by “Barbara Topsøe-Rothenborg”
Starring Kirsten Olesen Stina Ekblad Kirsten Lehfeldt
Screening at Palace Nova from February 4th
(Reviewed by John Glennie)
A lovely comedy-drama from Denmark which starts off showing 3 schoolgirl friends partying hard after their graduation some 44+ years ago, then moves to current-day Christmas Eve.
The independent Berling has never married, has a career as an auctioneer and is a single Mum. In the short snippets it appears a not-so-warm relationship with her daughter and grandchildren. Vanja is an inconsolable widow who spends Christmas Eve at her husband Jens’ gravesite and has more affection for her dog Miles than for her daughter. Marie runs an accounting practice with her husband Henrik, but is always too busy and abrupt with her family.
Marie’s family give her and Henrik a Christmas present of a one-week cuisine tasting course in country Italy. At first she says she is too busy but then agrees she needs a holiday. Henrik doesn’t seem too keen and later that evening Marie learns that he is having an affair and wants a divorce. A devastated Marie calls on her school buddies and offers them the tickets while she tries to win Henri back. They convince her to join them so off the three friends go to Italy!
Berling and Vanja take to the food tasting and cooking lessons intent on having a good time while Marie spends time trying to communicate with Henrik and convince him to leave the mistress. Eventually she loosens up and joins the cooking classes and has a makeover in the local town – all aimed at getting her beloved husband of 44 years back. However, Marie is as subtle as a sledgehammer when it comes to compassion and empathy with her friends and some of the other guests.
The movie has everything thrown in – conflicts between the life-long friends, love interests, laughs, meltdowns and dramas. As the movie promotional information says, it is a cross between Eat, Pray, Love and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel with a dramatic but heart-warming conclusion. The Food Club is worth a visit to the cinema for a well-presented look at the mixed emotions relating to a marriage breakdown after 44 years and the strength of long-lasting friendships.