If you are a foodie and love romantic comedy then Off The Menu (Directed by Jay Silverman) is a must see. It stars Dania Ramirez, Santino Fontana, Makenzie Moss, Andrew Carter, and Kristen Dalton. The movie takes place in Irvine, Ca and in New Mexico. It's about a young heir, Joel Flanagan whose family owns a Tortilla Hut franchise. He is sent by his sister Stacey Flanagan to go and cover the South West region in New Mexico, and seek what could be the next big hit for the company. Since sales have gone down his sister is determined to find what could be the new artisanal and authentic flavor that they could sell and bring sales up. He is unwilling to go because he has his own agenda and uses the excuse that he is preparing for a triathlon. His character depicts a man that is quite self centered and only cares about what he wants do, but eventually you see his character grow and take a turn where he has a likable side to him.
The cinematography is gorgeous. The colors set the tone for the movie, which is very colorful. The movie revolves around chiles, and how it is used to create authentic dishes. Javiera Torres is the young and beautiful Chef that is known for her signature dish and people come from all over to try her food. There is a scene in the beginning of the movie where she is cooking in the kitchen. I can tell her mind is churning as she is creating her dish with love and passion. That's how I feel when I am cooking. I can totally relate. She takes pride in her dishes and wants people to enjoy her food. I love the warm colors that emanate around the cooking. It gives a sensuous appeal to the food. Like you just want to devour it.
Joel and Javiera are the unlikely pair to get together since their first encounter started off on the wrong side of the foot. He will have to endure quite a lot to get on her good side. Here is where a lot of funny moments will surface. Javiera's character is a strong independent woman and single mother that owns her own restaurant. What don't you love about that? As the movie progresses she will teach Joel to not only think of himself, but for others. She teaches him to care. I don't want to give away too much since I think you should see it. Especially, to those of you who are foodies. I think Jay Silverman knows how to make people feel good. The movie made me feel warm and fuzzy inside.
Aside from this being a romantic comedy. I really liked how Silverman shows from what source a big business company competes with independent and small businesses. Where big companies get their ideas, and try to sell what's quick, easy and fast for profit versus food that is made from scratch, and with passion. I thought he did a great job to tie this into the story.