|The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:|
|Original title:||Brasserie Romantiek|
|Genre:||Drama, Comedy, Romance|
|Production country:||Belgien 2013|
|Running time:||Approx. 102 min.|
It's Valentine's Day and love is in the air everywhere. For the small brasserie Romantiek, this is one of the most important days of the year. With a special Valentine's Day menu, the aim is to offer lovers a very special evening. In addition, the menu proves to be the perfect opportunity to finally receive a second chef's hat from the Gault&Millau. The mood in the kitchen is exuberant and everyone seems to be looking forward to this evening. But even before the first course has left the kitchen it becomes clear that this Valentine's Day will be different than planned. Because suddenly the ex of chef Pascaline (Sara De Roo) is at the door and makes her an incredible offer. This throws her brother, chef Angelo (Koen De Bouw), completely off course and the atmosphere in the kitchen heats up dangerously. But there is little sign of sparkling romance in the guest room either. A frustrated wife, a shy single man or the devastated Mia ensure that the employees of the brasserie will not forget this evening so quickly.
Brasserie Romantiek - The Valentine's menu tells the stories of different people whose lives will change fundamentally in one evening. The plot is confined to two rooms: the kitchen and the dining room of a small Belgian brasserie. Although some situations are slightly overdrawn, director Joël Vanhoebrouck and the two scriptwriters were very concerned to create an atmosphere that seemed as authentic as possible. The viewer should get the feeling of visiting a real brasserie and get a glimpse into the operations of a restaurant business that largely corresponds to reality. For it is precisely this atmosphere that gives the story the special spice that the rather conventionally knitted screenplay otherwise lacks.
As is so often the case with films that are episodic in nature, some storylines work better here than others. For instance, the story of the extremely shy Walter, who clearly suffers from a personality disorder, feels a bit too over-the-top to work in the long run. But even the better moments, like the tangible marital quarrel that develops between self-absorbed businessman Paul and his frustrated wife Roos, end up being too superficial. So the film offers nice entertainment with some very amusing and also moving moments. But unfortunately it is not enough for more.
What the makers have succeeded very well, however, is to show that we are all somehow in search of love. It doesn't matter if you're married, just got dumped, never had a relationship before or if you're still mourning the one great love after many years. It also doesn't matter if the professional environment is right, if you live in financial prosperity or if you live a rather modest life. Without love, there will always be something missing. And the individual stories of the film make this very clear.
So Brasserie Romantiek - The Valentine's Menu is altogether a quite entertaining study of love, a nice mix of comedy and drama, but on balance a bit too arbitrary and inoffensive to leave a lasting impression. Therefore, there is then also only one: Worth seeing with reservations!
An article by Frankfurt-Tipp