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Foodie fun blends with Dali delights

Foodie fun surrounds Spain’s Waiting for Dalí, a movie that brings back memories of Stanley Tucci’s Big Night while putting its own spin on the restaurant scene. Foodie fans fondly remember how Tucci’s Big Night team hoped to enliven their 1950s restaurant with a visit from superstar singer Louis Prima.  Writer-director David Pujol twirls the concept with a setting in Barcelona that moves to Costa Brava in the 1970s when superstar artist Salvadore Dalí lived there. Better known as a documentary filmmaker, Pujol takes much of what he learned for his nonfiction project about the revolutionary artist and blends it with another innovation going on at the time, a modernist movement called molecular gastronomy that featured dining courses resembling foam.  Creating a character named Ferdinand but clearly inspired by Chef Ferran Adrià of the now closed El Bulli restaurant, Pujol spins a likeable comedy with some romantic elements as an obsessive proprietor played broadly by José Garcia schemes to lure his community’s most sought-after customer. Besides the chance to showcase gorgeous looking dishes that rev up saliva glands, Pujol gets added allure from the setting and its title character Dalí. Glimmering waters in various hues of blue sparkle on screen, while iconic images inspired by Dalí showcase the artist’s surreal and cinematic sensibilities (after all, he worked with such filmmakers as Alfred Hitchcock, Walt Disney, and Luis Buñuel). With styles of art and cuisine defined by extremes, it comes as no surprise that some of Waiting for Dalí seems exaggerated as it heads towards rom-com pleasures--familiar, restful and in this case, with likely to inspire a round of heavy drooling.

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