Delicious food, gorgeous scenery, and devoted friends. Those are the three elements you need in a movie like “Food Club (Madklubben),” a comforting little comedy-drama from Denmark. The story of three longtime girlfriends who find a new lease on life after participating in a cooking school in Italy is not surprising or even that original, but the film should deliver on just about everything its audience desires.
It’s Christmas Eve and Marie (Karoline Hamm) has just found out that her good-for-nothing husband has been having a steamy affair. He tells her he is moving out, leaving Marie abandoned and falling apart. Berling (Stina Ekblad) is flirtatious and outgoing, the eternal bachelorette who doesn’t act (or admit) her real age. Vanja (Kirsten Lehfeldt) is widowed and can’t stop living in the past. She’s never been able to move on from her late husband, even with the encouragement of those around her. Realizing they’re all at a crossroads in their lives, the trio decide to travel to Tuscany for cooking school. While there, they find ways to redefine themselves, rekindling their friendship along the way.
This “Third Wives Club” meets “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” film is geared towards senior citizens. It’s delightful and agreeable, but not too unpredictable so as not to upset and confuse its core audience. There are a few raunchy jokes and surprises, however, but most of the film is as routine as they come. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with sticking to the familiar when it comes to a film like this.
The actors have a wonderful rapport, giving off vibes that they really are longtime friends. It also feels good to see a film featuring women over 70 who are portrayed as living their best lives. It’s inspiring, actually.
“Food Club” is not particularly well-crafted, and some of the scenes feel unnecessary and clunky. But there’s something enchanting about the idea that it’s never too late for a fresh start. If you’re seeking some encouragement in your own life, this could be just the movie you need.
By: Louisa Moore