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Case Number 06006

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Food For The Heart

Razor Digital // 1999 // 93 Minutes // Rated PG-13
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // January 18th, 2005

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All Rise...

The only food for the heart Judge David Johnson is interested in is the Hardees "Monster Thickburger."

The Charge

There's always something tasty going on.

Opening Statement

C.S.I.'s Jorja Fox stars in this odd romantic comedy about love and family and the usual crap.

Facts of the Case

Delmar (Fox) dreams of opening her own restaurant. Trapped in a job she hates, the only moments of respite for her come during the special dinner times that bring together her family and friends.

During one of these dinners, Delmar is confronted with an odd proposal: her best friend's beau, Stanley (Paul Provenza), tells her that his boss is looking for a surrogate mother. If Delmar agrees, she would be paid well, and Stanley would be made partner at his law firm.

Despite the warnings of her free-spirit bother Jethro (Peter Murnik), Delmar accepts, and negotiates a $50,000 agreement from Stanley's boss. She immediately applies the money to her restaurant vision.

Meanwhile, a new person has been pulled into Delmar's circle: Moses (Bill Nunn), a former convict now on parole. He connects with Jethro, and Jethro's pal Marlon, and the three form a close friendship working on Cadillacs.

But Moses and Delmar grow closer, and she asks him to open the restaurant with her. Friends begin dating and the restaurant succeeds, but Delmar is faced with an impossible problem: now she wants to keep the baby.

The Evidence

Food for the Heart (formerly known as The Hungry Bachelors Club) is a so-so romantic comedy. It's not particularly funny, so maybe it's a romantic drama instead. Actually, nothing really dramatic happens, apart from an uncomfortable discussion about incest. So I guess that's out.

The film is a concoction of bizarre characters (with bizarre names—Hortense? Hannibal? Delmar!?! Like the terrorist from Cliffhanger?) placed into everyday situations. The biggest conflict in the film is Delmar's grappling with the decision to keep her child—and that is introduced and resolved within the final ten minutes or so of the affair.

The Delmar-Moses story is the focal point, and the other, smaller stories, radiate outward from there. There's Jethro's relationship with the incest girl; Hortense's trials and tribulations with Stanley, and then her eventual interest in another guy; a few family problems that involve senility; and Stanley's boss's intense desire to grow himself an heir in Delmar's womb. The restaurant is the nexus of all these stories, and eventually pulls the characters together.

This movie just didn't do anything for me. I didn't find the characters particularly engaging, save for maybe Bill Nunn's laid-back Moses, whose relationship with Delmar was unique and unforeseen. Everyone else seemed to be quirky merely for the sake of being quirky. The storylines were straightforward, boy-meets-girl stuff, with little innovation written into them. As a result, especially given the mediocrity of the characters, the stuff falls short.

Food for the Heart may appeal to others, but there wasn't enough brewing here to make it notable. It wasn't funny enough and wasn't compelling enough. As such…meh.

Razor Digital offers a full-frame transfer devoid of any striking flaws, though the fact the disc case advertises the movie as being in widescreen earns some demerits. The 2.0 mix is just there for dialogue. Theatrical trailers and a batch of forgettable deleted and extended scenes are it for extras.

The Rebuttal Witnesses

That all being said, this movie features the two actors that played MacGyver's fiercest arch-nemeses: Michael Des Barres (Murdoc) and William M. Sheppard (Dr. Zito). How awesome is that?!

Closing Statement

This film didn't float my boat, but for folks down with the "happy, quirky family and friends" romantic shtick, this may scratch your itch.

The Verdict

The court's belly is not full. Adjourned.

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Scales of Justice

Video: 85
Audio: 75
Extras: 75
Acting: 75
Story: 75
Judgment: 77

Perp Profile

Studio: Razor Digital
Video Formats:
• Full Frame
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Subtitles:
• None
Running Time: 93 Minutes
Release Year: 1999
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13
Genres:
• Comedy
• Drama
• Romance
• Romantic Comedies

Distinguishing Marks

• Deleted/Extended Scenes
• Trailers

Accomplices

• IMDb








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