Director: Andrea Berloff
Writers: Ollie Masters (comic book series), Ming Doyle (comic book series)
Stars: Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish, Elisabeth Moss
Moviie Couple here! We went out and watched The Kitchen this Friday! Remember we are just a married couple that loves movies! We’re here to tell you if we liked it. Film experts we are not! Just a quick reminder of our rating system. Mrs. Moviie Couple and I, rate films on whether they are worth the cash spent on a night out. we use a 1-6 Dollar Bill system. 1-2 Bills equal a waste of both our time and money! 3-4 Bills equal Meh to Pretty Good, money well spent! 5-6 Bills equal Wow! Well worth the price of dinner, movie and sitter! Please take our money again!
The Kitchen adapts a 2015 DC/Vertigo comic book series written by Ollie Masters and Illustrated by Ming Doyle to the silver screen. The film, like the comic before it, tells a tale of three mob wives in the 1970’s as they rise in power over Hell’s Kitchen Manhattan while their husbands are off serving time in prison. Utilising some brains and old school chutzpah, the trio quickly fill a void left by an inept mafioso made-man left in charge. The trio of enterprising 70’s ladies are played by Melissa McCarthy, Tiffany Haddish and Elisabeth Moss. Directed by first time director, Andrea Belloff, we follow the growth of these three friends in a world not ready or willing to embrace female empowerment. Growth, alliances, twists and of course violence ensue! Can the women break the mob glass ceiling? Are they prepared to take on a world they only knew from the periphery? Are they prepared to pay the price a life in this world costs? Well we don’t spoil here at Moviie Couple so why don’t we just let you know if it’s worth watching in order to find these answers for yourself or is it better to wait and watch on the couch? So grab a pack of smokes, crank up your eight cylinder gas guzzler and hit play on your eight track while you turn up The Chain by Fleetwood Mac (Man is that song used in every 70 era picture or what?)it’s time to find out if The Kitchen is an offer we can’t refuse!
Mr. Moviie Couple: The title of this movie, The Kitchen, refers to Hell’s Kitchen New York and probably serves as a double meaning, as most men in this film, and probably many of that era, still felt a woman’s place was in the kitchen and not much more, but it made me think of Mrs. Moviie Couple and myself. You see, you can have the same perfect ingredients and have us both follow the same recipe, but inevitably, Mrs Moviie Couple will produce a masterpiece of a meal. On the other hand, I would produce a nightmare of a meal, I simply can’t cook. This film had a perfect set of ingredients, a fantastic trio of actors in McCarthy, Haddish and Moss all doing good work, but the end result was less than appetising. To this end, I have to blame the cooks, or in this case Director Andrea Belloff, who not only directed but also wrote the adaptation for the screen.
This film wants to be a Goodmamas or a The Godmother but it never comes close. The plot happens at a super fast pace When the women put their plan in motion, everything happens with an ease and quickness that seems far fetched at best and unbelievable at worst. Any attempt at challenge or suspense rising against our heroines is never really sustained. When danger or consequences do come to light, they are addressed and handled just as quickly as they appeared. There was no time for any dread or fear to build up at any point. These faults lie solely at the feet of the directing and screenwriting, which unfortunately belongs to the same person. The one attempt at a twist comes out of nowhere and I’m willing to bet was developed with the right amount of time in the comic book version rather than the last minute explanation we get late in the third act here. Sorry, again no spoilers!
So in conclusion I certainly admired the performances we get here. McCarthy shines as a mother running out of choices to help her family, but never running away. Haddish also gives a subdued (for her) performance and shows a quiet intensity that she usually doesn’t require in her comedic offerings. Both these women, known mostly for their popular comedian personas really step it up here in The Kitchen. Moss shines the brightest as a mousey victim of domestic violence, that not only grows and fights back, but emerges from her cocoon of abuse as a butterfly to be feared by any and all. It also must be said that Domhnall Gleeson, known mostly as General Hux, in the new Star Wars movies, gives us a surprising and outstanding show as the ladies enforcer and confidant Gabriel. He is fantastic in a supporting role.
Despite some really great acting jobs, the movie is a bit of a let down. Too short, too fast, it never gives itself enough time to simmer and soak in all the 1970’s atmosphere or to let us actually feel the fear that these women were facing each and every day. Like a meal rushed rather than properly prepared, the Kitchen needed more time and care. You can eat it and taste the possibilities, but you probably should have ordered take out. I give the Kitchen 2.5 Bills. Just barely above a waste of my time and money. Without the stellar performances it would have been even less.
Mrs. Moviie Couple: Hi, everybody!! The trailer really had me excited for this one! The Godfather meets Charlie’s Angels! I was all set! Right up my alley, so did it live up to the hype?
The acting from the three main ladies was TOP NOTCH! Melissa was excellent in exuding humble, sweet, loving Mom and Wife, but also capable of taking control whenever necessary! Tiffany was fantastic as a no nonsense, tough cookie that was a consummate team player, but ready at a drop of a dime to handle things her own way! Elisabeth played a girl with the kindest, sweetest disposition who due to her abusive past ultimately finds her “inner voice” and with that freedom finally becomes a force to be reckoned with!
Even though I enjoyed the idea of the women taking charge, I found the story to have many flaws. It was very choppy and cut from scene to scene without warning or need. It all seemed to get resolved instantly and with only minimal pain or suffering. Most of the characters that don’t make it, seemed to have it coming one way or another. Very unrealistic.
Its a shame the story couldn’t live up to the strength of the three lead actors. This seemed more like an old TV show from the 1970’s where everything works out in the end and all in under one hour!
For all those reasons, I will be giving the Kitchen 3 Bills. The actresses and women movie-goers everywhere deserved a better film. I definitely felt like it was a little better than wasting my money and much closer to Meh. Sad because I was looking forward to this one so much!
On the way home, we talked about how disappointed we both were. We both enjoyed the trailer so much and were expecting more than we got from the final product. Mrs. Moviie Couple even told me we should have went to see Dora, WOW! My 2.5 Bills and the Mrs. 3 Bills, gives us a solid 2.5 Bills for The Kitchen, not at all what we were expecting. A confirmed waste of both time and money.
So until next time, remember trailers can be deceiving! Not every film that looks good comes through on the promise! Be sure to check out our Twitter or Facebook for a clue to our next movie review. Mr. & Mrs. Moviie Couple out!