At the request of a fan of film and foodie, curious about what I would suggest for the foodie portion, I am reviewing Mr. Church . Let me admit, Mr. Church is a movie that I never wanted to see because with as many stories that there are to tell about the Black experience, the one that Hollywood loves to green light are the ones where African Americans deeply love the White people they serve. With that said, I do have to say this film has a little bit more to offer because of the writer, Susan Mc Martin’s deep love and appreciation of the person that Mr. Church is based on. She wants him personified with dignity and layered with intelligence and class. She want viewers to know how he enriched her family’s life.
Mr. Church is an African American man who is the cook for a a White woman and her young daughter. In the opening credits to the film, we are informed that this is based on a real friendship. And the more you watch, it is evident that story is filled with truths and love. It feels like a love letter, not in the romantic sense but a story of deep love and regard for a person would impact the writer’s life. Eddie Murphy gives a quiet performance. He restrains any impulses to be comedic. And in doing so, I believe as an actor he is giving real homage to who the character of who Mr. Church is. There is an air of mystery to Mr. Church that keeps you guessing throughout the film.
This is slow moving film. It is a bit of simple story of friendship and family can be the same thing.
The Foodie: Grits take center stage among the stews, and cakes that Mr. Church whips up. I will differ to a recipe from the now closed Baltimore based and Black owned Darker Than Blue restaurant. It was a top notch upscale restaurant with mostly soul food. Watch this video of the chef preparing Catfish and Grits: