A typical British romantic comedy with a difference; Love’s Kitchen tells the story of has-been cook Rob Haley, who, after a wake-up call from Gordon Ramsey himself, relocates to try and turn his life around. Inspired by the true story of John Haley, landlord of Kate Middleton’s local pub in Stanford Dingley, it’s fair to say that Love’s Kitchen boasts a tale of originality and uniqueness, a refreshing change from the countless carbon copy romantic comedies.
Love’s Kitchen is a British rom-com through and through; director James Hacking attempts to showcase the best in British acting with leading man Dougray Scott along with the likes of Simon Callow and Michelle Ryan. Yet despite the eclectic all-star cast renowned for their acting prowess, there’s a distinct feeling of too many cooks spoiling the broth at some points, with the acting occasionally tending to come across as stiff and wooden. Actors aside, it’s hard to ignore Gordon Ramsey’s cameo role as himself, undeniably adding another interesting dimension to film. Whilst his harsh, hard-hitting personality is infamous from his television cookery series, it’s perhaps what loses this film brownie points. As Gordon pretends to act himself, he instantly appears to become unimpassioned in what he’s saying, in trying to be himself he appears to lose that very essence.
The acting may leave a few questions, but there is no doubt about the feel good factor that comes free with this movie. An uplifting tale, it’s packed with happy, smiley and positive vibes. It moves straight into the action and there’s little in the way of diversions or distractions from the plot, or a serious threat to thwart the protagonists dream. Though this may perhaps appear a far too simplistic view for some, the audience is given the opportunity to automatically engage with something that’s simple and easy with direction, without the worry of major setbacks and, just for a short while in our busy modern lives, to relax with something fun and carefree.
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