Sign up for the Morning Update and Madison Life email newsletters
“Food Club” is full of gorgeous shots of foreign locales and scenes of people gathering to eat mouth-watering Italian food together. So for me not to recommend it in March 2021 tells you just how much of a disappointment it is.
The Danish comedy wants to position itself in the lane of “Jane Austen Book Club,” “Under the Tuscan Sun” and nearly every Nancy Meyers movie in championing older women daring to reinvent themselves and seek happiness. But “Food Club” is pretty thin sauce, with one-dimensional characters and arbitrary, easily resolved conflicts.
The film centers on three lifelong friends, each of whom can easily be described in a sentence. Marie (Kirsten Oleson) is a homemaker who has dedicated her life to her husband of 44 years, Henrik (Peter Hesse Overgaard). Berling (Stina Ekblad) is a glamorous career woman who enjoys the single life. Vanja (Kirsten Lehfeldt) is a widow who can’t move on with her life.
One Christmas, Marie and Henrik’s kids buy them a weeklong cooking course at a beautiful villa in Puglia, Italy. Henrik takes the opportunity to confess that he’s been having a long-term affair and is leaving Marie, although he’d like her to stay on as his company’s bookkeeper. Great guy.