I remember when a new Lasse Halstrom picture used to be cause for excitement: What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, The Cider House Rules, even Chocolat. But over the past decade his output has been more and more disappointing: Casanova, The Hoax, Dear John. 2011’s well-received Salmon Fishing in the Yemen was a exception to his downward trend. Unfortunately the trailer for his newest, The Hundred-Foot Journey, looks to put him back on the wrong track.
I’ll be honest, even in the best of his best films Halstrom can get a little heavy-handed with the sentimentality. But early in his career he proved a deft ability to keep it balanced. From the looks of this trailer he’s tipped the scales fully over to the “schmaltz” side, with very little cleverness to make up for it.