With a somewhat daunting work week ahead, I went with Mom to see Tortilla Soup this afternoon at the Roxy, the newest multiplex here in town. Of all the films playing, this is the one we wanted to see most, because of recommendations from friends, and also because it seemed to be just the kind of entertainment we needed at this particular moment.
And it was perfect, light and amusing and steeped in the value of family, love and food. It's not a great movie, but it was the perfect movie for us today. The performances, mostly by lesser-known actors, were charming and funny. The film centers around a family headed by Hector Elizondo, whose three daughters all seem to be suddenly and unexpectedly leaving the nest. How they resolve their problems and learn to communicate is part of the appeal of this movie.
It's also about food, and that's the best part, at least visually. Many, many dishes are prepared on screen, in magnificent close-up, as the plot moves along. It's an absolute fiesta of Mexican cuisine, to the point where you can almost smell and taste it. The theater was nearly empty, maybe a dozen people in attendance, but I could hear moans of pleasure from all around as the chopping, pouring and simmering was so lovingly portrayed.
After the movie, we went to the Puerto Vallarta restaurant and tried to recreate the sensation. It was close, and I got full, but it wasn't quite the same.