Tuesday Club – movie review

From Babette’s Feast to Big Night, from Eat Drink Man Woman to Chocolat and many besides, foodie movies have their own place in popular culture. Now along comes a Swedish offering from director Annika Appelin, Tuesday Club.

Karin (Marie Richardson) and Sten (Bjorn Kjellman) are about to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. They have invited friends over to mark the special occasion. Karin, who is a dab hand in the kitchen, has prepared some tasty dishes. And then, while Sten is skylarking outside, Karin makes a shocking discovery.  Confronting him about it ends with Sten in a bad way in hospital after a fall. Understandably upset by Sten’s betrayal, Karin bumps into a former classmate, Monika (Carina M. Johansson), whom she hasn’t seen in decades.

With an up tempo, “can do” disposition, Monika has led an interesting and varied life, having travelled and resided in many places. She has returned home to attend to her ailing 90-year-old mother. She invites Karin to dinner.  Although initially dismissing the notion, Karin relents and is whisked off to a posh restaurant. It turns out the food there is being prepared by a Michelin Star chef who is also running a public cooking course on Tuesday evenings. In no time, Monika has signed up the pair of them and they are joined by Karin’s best friend Pia (Sussie Ericsson).

While Karin’s first impression of the celebrity chef Henrik (Peter Stormare) is far from favourable, that soon changes. Meanwhile, Karin and Sten’s daughter Fredrika (Ida Engvoll) is about to turn 40. Fredrika is close to her father and can’t understand why her mum has distanced herself from him.

Written by Anna Frederiksson from her own best-selling novel, Tuesday Club is a feel good comedic, romantic drama. While the roadmap is fairly transparent, the movie is an easy watch – the delicious culinary delights especially so.

The best performers are the three female friends.  There is a dignity about Marie Richardson. Carina M. Johansson has joie de vivre in spades, while there is an earthy quality about Sussie Ericsson. I can’t say I was sold on the representation of incredulity by Ida Engvoll, nor in the way that role was written. Neither did I believe there was chemistry between Richardson and Peter Stormare.

Still, Tuesday Club has a friendliness and charm which gives it appeal. Tuesday Club is best enjoyed if you simply let is wash over you and don’t try to dig too deeply.

Alex First

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