WHAT IT'S ABOUT:
Megan (Diaan Lawrenson) loses everything when her husband, Lloyd (Neels van Jaarsveld), gets arrested for tax fraud. She has to rebuild herself by rediscovering her love for cooking and the flavours of life. Down on her luck and facing jail time, Megan has to discover who she really is. With the help of her best friend, Lindiwe (Renate Stuurman), she learns that the path back home begins with realising that she’s enough and that all she needs is her family, food, and love—life’s three courses made easy.
WHAT WE THOUGHT:
Table Manners is like a meal you order at a restaurant and the taste doesn’t live up to its tantalising appearance. You optimistically take a few bites hoping that it will get better with every chew but the lack of seasoning makes it bland.
I really wanted to like Table Manners but it just didn’t tickle my taste buds.
From a production level it is a beautiful piece of cinematography however, the film isn’t very dialogue driven. Instead, it uses montages and visually represents Megan’s emotions through the food that she makes.
By using this method of storytelling it is really hard to see the character arc – the film is about Megan rediscovering herself but the journey itself is glossed over.
The supporting cast are all props for the main character - they have no backstory and agency which was frustrating for me to watch – especially during the movie’s climax.
When it comes to the acting it was OK. Diaan Lawrenson and Renate Stuurman really did the most that they could with the lean script and plot. A bright spark in the film for me was Julian Robinson who plays Megan’s son Devan. He had some really cute scenes.
Table Manners is straight to DStv Box Office/M-Net Movies fare.