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FOOD CLUB: 3 STARS. “discover the power of pasta and friendship to heal the soul.”

“Food Club,” a new Danish comedy about a trio of lifelong friends, and now on VOD, feels like a mix of “Eat Pray Love,” “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” with a side of “Under the Tuscan Sun.”

Marie (Karoline Hamm), Vajna (Kirsten Lehfeldt) and Berling (Stina Ekblad) have been friends since youth, even if they don’t see one another as much as they’d like these days. Now in their 70s, Marie is devastated by her Christmas Eve break-up from her husband, Berling’s life looks good from the outside looking in but a difficult relationship with her daughter troubles her and Vanja has never gotten over the death of her husband.

In an effort to move on and “seize the day” as they did in their youth, the three travel to Puglia in Southern Italy to take a cooking course. Their guide, Alessandro (Michele Venitucci) guarantees they will know how to cook beautiful Italian dishes by the end of the week, but, like Stanley Tucci on his televised tour of the country, they dig deeper, discovering the power of not only pasta to heal the soul, but also of friendship.

“Food Fight” is an engaging but slight movie. The revelation that friendship conquers all is straight-out-of Hallmark 101 and you wouldn’t need Columbus to guide the trio’s journey of self-discovery, but the theme of moving on from heartache is nicely handled. The characters are more textured than your typical coming-of-old-age flick, and the messages of embracing friends and the time you have left, while frayed around the edges, brings uplift.


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