Dogs’ dinners don’t get much more indigestible than this misfiring pudding of a rom-com from first-timer James Hacking.
It’s not often you have a meal where everything served up is an inedible mush but this – the culinary equivalent of a botulism burger – collapses spectacularly with every wince-inducing course.
Dougray Scott – in the style of a condemned man - plays Rob, a top-rated chef plunged into a pit of depression when his flighty French wife fatally piles her Mercedes convertible into a tractor towing manure (it could be the script).
Fortunately, help is at hand when a bizarrely non-sweary Gordon Ramsay tells him to shape up…and points him in the direction of a failing country pub that needs Rob’s precision with the calves' tongues in celeriac remoulade.
It turns out that it’s also the local of American food critic Kate Templeton (Forlani - cheeky play on words here: the story is actually based on that of publican John Hailey, who ran Kate Middleton’s local.)
Presumably, the royal princes will be hoping the liberties end here because the local aristo is a Bunter-ish lardy posh twit who collects his conquests’ knickers and resents Rob’s intrusion serving up “real food with real heart”. I’m lovin' it.
Anyway, Rob falls for Kate, Kate’s dad – a rock manager turned country squire (Peter Bowles) – conspires to close Rob down in collusion with posh twit and Simon Callow rocks up to deliver his usual luvvie meltdown as a bibulous fruit of a TV gourmet.
There’s nary a morsel to admire here. Real-life married couple Scott and Forlani look ashen-faced delivering lines such as “just because your wife dies and you have a cute kid doesn’t mean you have the right to behave like a complete a**hole”.
A veritable banquet of awfulness.