The Taste of Things Parent Guide
Mouth-watering cinematography and finely drawn characters aren't enough to fill an overlong runtime and thin plot.
Parent Movie Review
Dodin Bouffant (Benoit Magimel) may own an estate, but his heart is with his kitchen – and his cook. Eugenie (Juliette Binoche) is no mere household help; she’s a gifted chef who works side by side with Dodin in crafting culinary masterpieces that delight his friends. When the opportunity arises to cook for a Eurasian prince, the couple will need to combine their skill and artistry to produce an unforgettable meal. There’s just one problem: Eugenie has started having fainting spells and no one knows what’s wrong…
There are two love stories in this film. The first is between Dodin and Eugenie, who are involved in a comfortable, long-standing affair. Dodin regularly proposes marriage but Eugenie refuses, insisting that she would lose her bodily autonomy were she a wife. She is happy with Dodin’s company and does not seek the legal status of marriage.
The movie’s greater passion is for food. This film presents some of the most beautiful food porn I’ve ever seen. Glorious meals are painstakingly cooked and lovingly served, with the camera lingering on each portion. Scenes are bathed in warm, golden light, giving still life shots the appearance of fine oil paintings. You can smell the onions, taste the rich cream sauces, and feel the crisp crackle of the bread crust. This is a profoundly sensual movie but it has little to do with sex.
In fact, the film has little negative content overall. The only thing most parents will object to is the affair (which is off-screen) and related brief moments of female buttock nudity. There is also plenty of wine consumption, but that is to be expected in a French film focused on gastronomy. Some parents will be troubled when a young teenager is given wine with a meal, but the movie is free of interpersonal violence and contains a single profanity. The PG-13 rating is suitable, but, frankly, this isn’t a film that will appeal to most teens.
In fact, I don’t think The Taste of Things possesses mass appeal. The movie is undoubtedly lovely to look at, but it has thin plot, spread out over a very, very slow two and a half hours. You have to really love looking at food, watching people cook, and watching people consume multi-course meals, if you are to enjoy this production. Yes, the movie has finely drawn characters – Eugenie, in particular is composed, confident in her talents, generous, and discerning – and the cast members are fully committed to their roles. And, yes, the cinematography is stunning. But if you, like me, prefer a movie to be built around a story with a strong plot and a clear resolution, you are going to be disappointed. If, however, you are looking for a movie that brings food to life, this is the show for you. Be prepared: this movie is guaranteed to make your mouth water.Directed by Anh Hung Tran. Starring Juliette Binoche, Benoit Magimel, Bonnie Chagneau-Ravoire. Running time: 145 minutes. Theatrical release February 9, 2024. Updated February 7, 2024
Watch the trailer for The Taste of Things
The Taste of Things
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Taste of Things rated PG-13? The Taste of Things is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for some sensuality, partial nudity and smoking
Violence: Dead animals are seen in a cooking context. Fish and chicken are gutten before being cooked. A woman faints. A dead person is briefly seen in dim light. A man shouts at a frightened woman and chases her away.
Sexual Content: There’s reference to an affair between a man and woman. There is rear buttock nudity as a woman is seen bathing. A man walks in on a naked woman taking a bath. A woman is seen naked from behind in her bed and is caressed by her lover with no further detail.
Profanity: The script contains a single term of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Alcohol is used as an ingredient in cooking. Adults drink wine with meals, as is common in France. An adult gives a young teenager wine with a meal. There is a brief scene of smoking.
Page last updated February 7, 2024
Related home video titles:
If you just can’t get your fill of beautiful shots of French cuisine, you’ll want to watch Delicious.This film is a loosely adapted tale of Pierre Manceron, who is best known for opening a restaurant in the French countryside in the 18th century.
Juliette Binoche stars in another French food film, this time focused on chocolate. Chocolatrecounts the story of Vianne, a young woman who opens a confectionary in a very conservative small town in 1950s France. And she does so during Lent, thereby igniting a cultural backlash.