“Food and Romance”

Originally called “Tisdagsklubben / Tuesday Club” in its country of origin (based on Anna Frederiksson’s best-selling novel), director Annika Appelin‘s renamed film “Food and Romance” is a Swedish rom-com that delivers exactly what it promises, starting with its appropriate new title. Although you know precisely what you’re getting in a been-there, done-that premise, this story of friends, wine, and a shared passion for gourmet cuisine and the chance to reinvent your life feels fresh. It’s strikingly similar to other foodie romance movies, but with a cast that skews older. While this may be yet another repeated menu, audiences aren’t being served a reheated plate of lukewarm leftovers.

In the middle of her 40th anniversary party, Karin (Marie Richardson) happens to see a very naughty text pop up on her husband’s phone. In shock, she confronts him immediately, and he confesses to an affair. Broken and devastated by the unwelcome surprise, Karin must face the fact that her old life as she knew it is now over. Instead of wallowing in a state of depression, she realizes that a bright new life is only just beginning. With the help of her friends (Sussie Ericsson, Carina M. Johansson), Karin decides to reignite her dreams of becoming a culinary artist and enrolls in a cooking class that’s led by grumpy, demanding chef Henrik (Peter Stormare). With her girlfriends by her side, Karin reawakens her passion for food — along with a desire for her new mentor.

What follows is an irresistible story of second chances for a woman who gave up on her aspirations and ambitions when she had kids and got married young. The story is predictable but executed well, hitting all the warm, charming, and sweet romantic comedy high notes. It’s a welcome thing to see such strong roles for older women, and the chemistry between the cast is enchanting. You’ll know where the narrative is headed, but you’ll want to keep your seat at the table because the characters are so engaging.

The film features some gorgeous food photography, making it the perfect movie for gourmands. Plate after plate of beautiful dishes are featured prominently, reminding viewers why it’s so easy to like rom-coms with a flair for gastronomy. Aided by an uplifting, feel-good story, “Food and Romance” is the best kind of cinematic comfort food.

By: Louisa Moore

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