Tortilla Soup (2001), Maria Ripoll


Tortilla Soup is an American comedy-drama, directed by Maria Ripoll. It’s actually based off “Eat Drink Man Woman“- the Taiwanese original. Both definitely have their own merits.

The story revolves around the Naranjo family. Martin is the dad and the strong head of his three girls. His daughters- though adults, still live at home and the movie centers around the family dinner.

Why the family dinner? Because food plays a huge role in this movie. Martin is a semi-retired chef, but since losing his wife, he has also lost his senses of taste and smell. Despite that, he still cooks ridiculous, multi- course meals for his family and friends and is known for his cooking skills. It’s his way of loving.

The drama comes with his daughters. They’re all adults, and with adults- come complicated and growing personal lives. Men and wanting to move out on their own are the two biggest struggles. Let me introduce the three daughters separately-

1-Leticia, The oldest and the most conservative of the three. Religion plays a big roll in her life, and she’s a teacher at a local high school.

2- Carmen- The middle gal, and career woman and surprisingly, has a knack for cooking just like her papa.

3-Maribel- The baby. She’s young, trendy and I think it would be fitting to put her into the rebel category.

Of course, you get the vibe already that this isn’t the the set up to any special story.  I mean, they set it up like any other goodhearted story, where you have four lost characters and hopefully, in the end- they find whatever they need. Whether it be relationship or a experience they were lacking. And of course they do. This is a goodhearted film. You come away from it feeling good. Satisfied even,  because you knew how the story would end from the moment you started watching it.

What I think really makes the film, is the pick of actors/actresses. Personally, I love both Hector Elizondo and Tamara Mello (Father and Youngest Daughter). I don’t think I realized it until this film. I’ve seen them in other works …. (Princess Diaaaaaaaaries, anyone?) They pulled it together, and added the warmth this movie needed. If you’re looking for a lazing-on-the-couch-on-a-tuesday-night movie, this is it.





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