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La Cucina

1 rating: -1.0
A movie directed by Zed B. Starkovich;Allison Hebble

Studio: Anthem Pictures Release Date: 11/17/2009 Run time: 89 minutes Rating: Nr

Genre: Drama
Release Date: October 19, 2007
MPAA Rating: Unrated
1 review about La Cucina

Talks your ear off.

  • Apr 11, 2010
The first act is gorgeous and has an unusual film style. Three different women, we see mostly just their hands, make a meal. One is clearly a creative, incredible chef, the second trys to follow a cookbook but makes a real mess, and the third a butterfly flying around her apartment making a salad and taking a shower. All the while, a neighbor plays beautiful guitar. The connection between the three women and their relative skill at cooking, life, and men is slowly revealed. The second act turns mundane with a man sitting in front of a television set masturbating to a porno. From there the film turns into a three room play, with characters that just talk about relationships, love, and sex.

This is a low budget film that tries to be intellectual. I'm not sure it succeeds. Joaquim de Almeida, a character actor from Portugal (24 season 3 Ramon Salazar) in his fifties, is the suave free spirited European Michael that is dating a much younger woman, Lily, played by Christina Hendricks (the buxom Rubenesque redhead from Mad Men). About half the movie is spent in her apartment with the two talking and drinking wine. The other half is spent in the gorgeous kitchen of Jude (Rachel Hunter) talking to her pregnant friend Shelly (Leisha Hailey, the L Word). There is the occasional intermission in the apartment courtyard where we hear some fantastic guitar playing - a lovely Taylor acoustic and Gibson SG Custom.

The best part of this film is the soundtrack. Well, Christina Hendricks is also a pleasure.

The film is not rated, but should probably be reserved for more mature audiences. I did a bit of research; the film came up fairly clean, so we watched this with a thirteen year old. The initial shower scene was tastefully done; Christina is not going to expose her body given the huge success of Mad Men. I had to grab for the stop button as soon as the porno film music and moaning sounded. The masturbation scene shows no private parts (in fact there is no nudity in this film), but it was just a bit too much for a younger viewer. There is also a discussion about lesbians, and two women in lingerie really mashing each other's breasts. There is a fair amount of strong language.

The DVD includes a commentary soundtrack, still photo gallery, and previews. Bonus features are pretty slim.

This could have been a wonderful independent film. It had a huge amount of potential in the first act. The second and third acts just slid into nattering about not much. Michael and Lily spend a good thirty minutes discussing marriage, and why he is against it and she loves the idea. It was all supposed to be inspiring and intellectual, instead it just repeated what's been done and said many times over and in a better manner.

Christina is beautiful, the food is beautiful, and the music is beautiful. The film is not beautiful for the whole hour and twenty nine minutes.

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