If you haven't seen Om Puri in a while and forgot how brilliant he is, then watch this as a reminder. Go for Om Puri, as that quirky side dish that makes the predictable but pretty entrées more bearable.
"The Hundred-Foot Journey" is an entertaining little film that holds to its quirky spirit for the first two acts and then largely descends into tedious urban commentary in the third act. It is a thoroughly improbable, often adorable film about an Indian family that escapes to the South of France and opens a restaurant that pits it rather directly against a famous Michelin-starred eatery. You can probably predict what happens next. And most of what happens is pretty and brimming with well-known tropes and some made-up ones (Do Indians really hug and passionately smell their spices? I wonder if that'd make you sneeze your eyes out.)
The film is very well cast. Apart from an amazing Om Puri, Helen Mirren is good as usual but young Manish Dayal and Charlotte Le Bon are very good as well and together provide much freshness to the film.
This is the latest film from a rather prolific, culturally curious Swede Lasse Hallström. His critically acclaimed films, like Chocolat (2000), What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993), Cider House Rules (1999) and more recently Salmon fishing in the Yemen (2011) and many others generally pit small-towns against physical or conceptual outsiders and explore the human drama that ensues. The results, like dinner from your favorite restaurant, are often satisfying, even if devoid of any great revelations.