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ROB HEDELT reviews movies and TV shows,  and is a  columnist for The Free Lance-Star. You can email him at

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“Hundred Foot” not the home run hoped for

The best hope for new movies this weekend, “The Hundred-Foot Journey,” isn’t the home run I’d hoped for.

While it starts really well, making you care about a family fleeing trouble in India, the story becomes so methodical and rote that much of the charm goes up like smoke from an overheated pan.

It does offer a really marvelous cast, including Om Puri as the patriarch of the Indian family, Manish Dayal as the son destined for culinary greatness, Helen Mirren as the owner of a great French restaurant and Charlotte Le Bon as the young chef who works there.

The premise is simple: the Indian family starts a restaurant across the street from the famous French one, setting up both a competition between the anything-is-possible Papa (Puri) and the smug Madame Mallory (Mirren).

I loved the film through the first 40 minutes, but it doesn’t really build on that solid start, with characters marched through a set of circumstances that don’t have the romance and real touch this needs to be special.

Even the cooking scenes, which should help carry this for legions of “foodies” who might be interested in this film, lack the magic of that art.

Don’t get me wrong: this is still an interesting amusement, with a good cast, a sweet touch and a nice story.

But it’s hard not to see how much better it could have been.


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