Today's Special

Released 2009


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Movie Summary

David Kaplan
Today's Special is the comedy drama from director David Kaplan which tells the story of a man who gains a new lease on life when circumstances force him to take over the family business. Samir (Aasif Mandvi) is a traditionally trained chef who works as the sous chef in an exclusive restaurant in Manhattan, but when he learns he's been turned down for an expected promotion, he leaves in a huff and isn't asked to return. Samir is convinced he's cut out for better things and considers heading for Europe to attend a culinary academy in Paris. But Samir's plans quickly change when he learns that his father (Harish Patel) has suffered a severe heart attack and someone needs to look after the family business, a dingy Indian restaurant in Queens that's fallen on hard times. While Samir has spent years learning to prepare gourmet cuisine, he's never had much experience making Indian food, and his mother (Madhur Jaffrey) is singularly unimpressed with his efforts. Samir has to hire a new cook to assist him, and he ends up with Akbar (Naseeruddin Shah), a cabbie who claims to have cooked for many of India's leading dignitaries, and with Akbar's help Samir learns about the soul of Indian cuisine, as well as a few things about himself. Samir also tries to make time for a budding romance with Carrie (Jess Weixler), who worked with him at his old job. Today's Special was an official selection at the 2009 BFI London Film Festival.moreless


Metacritic Score

  • 75

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    As a movie, Today's Special is only just OK. What saves it, as it saves so very many things, is the garam masala.

  • 50

    The New York Times Mike Hale

    An immigrant-family comedy that hits all the sentimental clichés of the genre as if they were stops on the No. 7 train.

  • 50

    Variety Leslie Felperin

    The picture works best as a vehicle for the likable talents of thesp Aasif Mandvi, arguably best known for his occasional "reporting" on the Middle East on "The Daily Show With Jon...

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Romantic Comedy, Dramedy