Christmas on the Menu


Josie’s bakery failed because of a review by Tanner, an influential restaurant critic. She is working at her friend Nina’s restaurant and preparing to go home for Christmas to develop a menu for her Mom’s Bed and Breakfast when Tanner walks in with his editor, Pepper. Nina serves him Josie’s new dessert, her Red Velvet Cheesecake, and Tanner loves it. When Josie goes home to the B&B, surprise surprise, Tanner shows up. He explained that his original review was not so mean, but it was re-edited to get more notice and to boost circulation. The romance begins.

I liked Kim Shaw’s performance in this, but a lot of the movie didn’t make sense. First, Cynthia Gibb looks way too young to be a 35-year-old’s mother. (Good for Her!) Also, the actor who played Kim’s ex-boyfriend was 7 years younger than her and they were supposed to be the same age. Kim Shaw has a very fresh-faced look and looks young, but somehow, the ages seemed squished together. I was confused by why the ex-boyfriend was hanging around Kim’s mother all the time at the B&B.

The love interest/food critic was handsome but kind of a non-entity. And since when does a professional food critic agree to only give a good review or no review? His editor, Pepper, was the antagonist who doctored honest reviews to make them negative. And food critic just let her do that without a peep. What a wimp. Where is the integrity? She follows Tanner to the B&B because she “likes likes” him, and presumably to prevent Tanner from repairing his relationship with Josie. Luckily, also present at the grand opening of Mom’s B&B were two nationally known reviewers who loved everything. If the little newspaper gave a bad review, it would reflect on them, not Josie, the chef (who was also famous and lauded in her own right anyway.) To sabotage Josie’s dessert, Pepper eats a whole big bowl of Kim’s special whipped cream the night before! A trigger warning for binge-eaters would not have gone amiss. And she didn’t even deny it! Why didn’t she just say she broke the bowl when she was getting something else out of the refrigerator? Such a strange choice to sabotage a rival. Pepper needs her own movie, especially since we saw the glimmerings of regret as she drove off. Or it may have been all that whipped cream.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

December 20, 2020

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