The Kitchen is everything that the summer movie season wasn’t. With the summer season being dominated by reboots and reimagined plot points, Melissa McCarthy’s latest project offered a chance to see three strong leading ladies in a different lens. These weren’t ladies experiencing an awakening; The Kitchen provides a glimpse at McCarthy, Haddish, and Moss as brooding anti-heroes who are looking to redefine their roles in a male-dominated world. They don’t seek out a life of crime so much as they use it to break those chains of poverty and being relegated to the home. Each woman seems to experience their own journey during the film as well, but it was action, not a realization that changed the future for them.
Writer/director Andrea Berloff incorporated a slight non-linear timeline when crafting this narrative, which proves actually to be quite effective. I also enjoyed how she crafted Claire’s (Elisabeth Moss) arc as a character. Seeing her drawn to the most violent thug in the film after being so meek was charming for sure. It was also a pleasant surprise to see how she put McCarthy and Haddish against one another in the third act. In reality, the film is about women who have to make tough decisions in the face of a crisis.
Overall, the costume and production design were stellar, just as the pacing of the film was. For a movie found in August, (which is usually a bad sign) The Kitchen is a pleasant surprise. While each of these three leading ladies has had their stumbles in the past, it seems that as an ensemble, they are a dynamite team. I hope that the public will head out to support Berloff’s efforts so that we get more original programming and stay away from the regurgitated nonsense which dominated the summer months.