DVD Review: The Kitchen

STUDIO: Monterey Media | DIRECTOR: Ishai Setton | CAST: Laura Prepon, Dreama Walker, Bryan Greenberg, Tate Ellington, Matt Bush
DVD RELEASE DATE: 4/9/2013 | PRICE: DVD $26.95
BONUSES: featurette, behind-the-scenes material, interview, deleted scenes
SPECS: R | 80 min. | Comedy | 16:9 widescreen | 5.1 Surround & Stereo | English subtitles

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie | Audio | Video | Overall

Named The Kitchen because the majority of the film takes place in that room of the house, this independent ensemble comedy will most appeal to a college-aged audience, even though the characters are several years older.

The Kitchen movie scene

Laura Prepon (r.) and Dreama Walker talk it over in The Kitchen.

The story centers around Jennifer (Laura Prepon, Lay the Favorite), whose roommates are throwing her a 30th birthday party. She’s in no mood to celebrate, however, since she just found out her boyfriend Paul (Bryan Greenberg, Friends With Benefits) has been cheating on her. Interestingly, the relationship between Jennifer and Paul is never completely believable, because Paul is a one-dimensional serial cheater, so one wonders how she could have dated him for two and a half years—a point mentioned repeatedly in the film. In fact, most of the characters are never fully fleshed out. There’re Jennifer’s idiotic friends Amanda (Amber Stevens) and Kim (Pepper Binkley), both of whom are sleeping with Paul. There’s the pushover roommate Stan (Matt Bush, Margaret), who is accused of either being in love with Jennifer or being gay for his fawning, pathetic mannerisms. Stan offers few laughs, and the gay jokes are more of a cheap shot than a punchline. Then there’s Paul, who objectifies all the females in the film. Since this is an ensemble comedy, there are also several side characters (the mentally unstable photographer, the musician who storms the party with his band), who border on annoying—not humorous.

In fact, the only really likable characters are Jennifer and her cynical sister Penny (Dreama Walker, Compliance), who is pregnant and plans on having an abortion. The relationship between the two is the most believable and entertaining. In the end, you do care about what happens to these sisters. Will Jennifer succeed with her gallery opening? Will Penny decide to keep her baby? They will keep you watching until the very last scene.

Overall, The Kitchen is a nice enough comedy, but it isn’t particularly cutting-edge or smart. For example, jokes about hot Asian girls at a UCLA math party targets young twenty-somethings just out of college, not the late-20s/early-30s set, who are typically more mature than the characters in this movie.

 

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About Cheryl

Cheryl Cheng reviewed DVD and Blu-ray titles for Video Business magazine and has a special place in her heart for foreign and independent films.