Melissa McCarthy Stars in the Cooking Competition Mockumentary 'Cook Off!'
Centered around a fake contest and swarming with a hundred quirky fledgling chefs, Cook Off! looks to be a hilarious mix of parody, docu-drama, reality TV, and cooking challenge, and a recipe for second-hand embarrassment.
Co-directed by Cathryn Michon and Guy Shalem, this off-the-wall take on the world of amateur meal-making sees an awkward collection of wannabes competing in an oddly-named regional competition. Participants are from all over the country and have descended on Van Rookle Farms Cooking Contest, which features its own celebrity judges, a muffin mascot, and a $1 million prize.
The film's trailer centers on McCarthy's character, a frazzled and fumbling hopeful, most predominantly, but writer-director Michon also gets some time to shine in a brief scene where her character is revealed to be a sex toy consultant. Wendy McLendon-Covey (Reno 911) competes alongside Michon's character as her turtle-ish sister Pauline. Meanwhile, The Internship's Gary Anthony Williams embodies a community theater actor who seemingly has no idea how to kiss (or maybe just really doesn't want to).
Of course, being a comedy about a cooking competition, the trailer lets us in on same major food-filled sight gags. In one sequence, contestant Cassandra Dougherty (Jennifer Elise Cox) aggressively cracks eggs in a bowl as her mother, played by Heroes' star Cristine Rose, coos behind her about how strong and beautiful she is. In another, McCarthy is seen racing to turn in her character's completed dish before wiping out on camera.
The comedy also stars Niecy Nash (Claws), Mo Collins (MADtv), Diedrich Bader (The Drew Carey Show), and Jim Rash (Community).
The film originally premiered in 2007 at the Comedy Arts Festival, but is getting a wide release just in time for one of the biggest cooking holidays of the year. Catch Cook Off! in theaters beginning November 17.