Dinner Rush

>> Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Murder. Mobsters. Tagliatelle with white truffle sauce.

The 2000 film Dinner Rush is set almost entirely in a trendy and intensely popular nuovo-Italian restaurant, owned by independent bookie Louis Cropa. The star chef is none other than the owner's son, Udo, played by Edoardo Ballerini.

The film features a great cast, led by Danny Aiello and John Corbett. Every performance is excellent.

Compared to Big Night which celebrates an amazing meal, Dinner Rush is more of a restaurant film. After seeing countless Food Network shows depicting the shenanigans behind the scenes in restaurant kitchens, this film was fascinating to watch. One scene in particular, where a line chef is dismissed on the spot for using a dull knife to attempt to chop chives was especially entertaining.

The over-the-top creation for the restaurant critic, played by Sandra Bernhard, is the epitome of creating a dish just because you can: Montauk lobster with rock shrimp, Champagne-shallot sauce with vanilla bean and mint, deep-fried spaghetti, salmon roe, and wasabi-infused tobiko caviar.

The gripping plot pulls you along with layers of subplots: a father-son relationship, a sous-chef's gambling problem, and a sticky love triangle. The drama culminates in a satisfying ending, which may turn off some film critics, but not us.

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