As you watch the posters sporting Penelope Cruz buried under red chilies and looking
red hot herself, you know that the Latin folks are far from taking their first
wrong step. After all, Cruz and chilies are any day hotter than Mena Suvari and
roses that we had in American Beauty. Looks like sultry sirens, salsa and
serenade are all that they need to work on to woo America. Jennifer Lopez, Carlos
Santana and Ricky Martin know the formula and they play by it, and Fina Torres,
the director, is no different. She has the first thing in Cruz, and the second
and third she distributes among the other artists.
This is, as the opening narration explains, a story of love, motion sickness and the art of cooking. In short, it is about Isabella (Cruz) who embodies all three. After her husband, Toninho (Murilo Benicio), gets tired of having her on top (motion sickness is the culprit), literally, he tries to find some other women whom he can be on top of. So Isabella takes that long due flight to the US to cook for fame.
With her transvestite friend Monica (Harold), she gets to star on a food show whose producer, Cliff (Mark), has been floored by her and her food. Toninho follows her trail and ends up singing on her show, and now it's a three-way struggle for love and by now irrelevant food.
There is also the sea goddess, and the way she responds to prayers and all befits the best of fairy tales, as well as the most pedestrian of Indian movies. It's up to you on how to look at it. I'd say the former view would help you have a better time of it.
Penelope Cruz does what her kind do best - sizzle. As for her acting, she smiles
enough, sighs at the right times and has that blank look that leaves nothing to
distract one from her beauty. That means she does her job well. For once, it looks
like the movie is Ally Mcbeal gone Latin and wrong (there are quite a few weird
parts), until Isabella gets back with her guy. Ally would never do that.