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Featured DVD Review: Something's Cooking

May 26th, 2012

Something's Cooking - Buy from Amazon

When I got a chance to review Something's Cooking, a.k.a., La Cucina, I jumped at the chance, because it starred Christina Hendricks. I've been a fan of her since I first saw her on Firefly. However, I was a little worried the DVD cover was a little more than a marketing plot. It wouldn't be the first time an actor had a breakout role (Mad Men for Christina Hendricks) and some studio released their earlier films where they were only supporting actors. Is that the case here? Regardless, can the film thrive on its own merits?

The Movie

The film begins by looking in on three women who live in the same apartment building: Lily, Jude, and Shelly (Leisha Hailey). All three of them are preparing for a night with their significant other and all three are preparing meals. Lily is dating Michael, who is 17 years older than her, which is a bit of a problem. Or at the very least, she gets a little ribbing from Shelly, her very pregnant best friend. Shelly is cooking something that I believe she thinks is lasagna, but her husband, Chris, disagrees. After she's worked so hard to make the food, he decides to order a pizza instead. He's actually surprised when they get into a fight and she leaves and heads to Jude's apartment, Jude being only one of the three who can cook. Jude is cooking for her girlfriend, Celia (Clare Carey), who works in the film industry and works a lot of late nights. Despite Shelly's assertion that being a lesbian would be great ('your lover is also your best friend') Jude tells her all relationships have their problems. We see this when an actress, Raven (Kala Savage), starts to flirt with Celia while they work together on set.

That's about it for the plot. The film basically takes place in two different kitchens each with two people having conversations about relationships, which are in various stages of their lifespan from just dating for a few weeks, to a couple in a long term relationship but drifting apart, to married with a child on the way. And really it's mostly just Lily and Michael talking about their relationship, while Shelly talks to Jude about her marriage. The other characters are side characters that rarely interact with anyone and there's only a brief moment when Shelly crosses over to the other kitchen. If you fail to connect with either of these conversations, there's nothing else in the movie to draw you in. Fortunately, it works, for the most part. The actors are are very good and some of the subjects touched upon are compelling. You get to listen to people talk about real subjects in ways that are true-to-life, and this includes people holding contradictory opinions. On the downside, there are some side plots that are barely touched and feel incomplete, while some of the observations are a little shallow.

Overall, it adds up to a good dialogue driven independent movie and one that is worth checking out.

The Extras

The only extra on the DVD is an audio commentary track with the writer, A.W.Gryphon, and one of the stars, Joaquim de Almeida. It's a low key commentary track, but has quite a lot of stories told about the production of the movie, the script, the food.

The Verdict

Something's Cooking is a low budget, dialogue driven independent drama about relationships. It has a good script and a good cast and it is worth checking out. The DVD only has an audio commentary track, but this is better than expected, and the price is just $7, which is a bargain.

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