Tortilla Soup (2001)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):  BBBB.5.  USA, 2001.  Samuel Goldwyn Films, Starz! Encore Entertainment.  Screenplay by , , , based on an earlier screenplay by , , .  Cinematography by .  Produced by .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by .  

There’s nothing more annoying than when Americans remake foreign films, but this Latino adaptation of Ang Lee’s Eat Drink Man Woman is a notable exception. Of course, this is probably because the culture it depicts is treated just as abominably in America as Asians are, so it doesn’t really feel like that much of a sellout. Hector Elizondo is tailor-made for his role as a skilled chef and concerned father whose three daughters (, , ) have enough romantic complications to send him to his grave early. In between their troubling personal lives, the girls gather at their father’s house once a week to share a meal and work out their many differences. The script is perfectly balanced, even richer than Lee’s, and the mouth-watering dishes and spicy musical score celebrate Latin culture like no other American film before it. Then, as if that weren’t enough, there’s a fantastic cameo by the irresistible . If this film were a meal it would be a full three-courses of satisfying gourmet richness with Welch as the dessert. Don’t ever pass up the chance to see it.

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