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MIDDLETOWN: MAKING A MEAL OF A MOVIE

the-trip-to-italy-rob-brydon-steve-coogan1-600x337-7126988Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan star in THE TRIP TO ITALY, one of a smorgasbord of “food themed films” that screen for free during Mondays in April at Middletown Library. 

Whoever opined to the effect that there’s “no such thing as a free lunch” would do well to visit the Middletown Township Public Library here in April, where every Monday afternoon spotlights a different cinematic confection; centered around a foodie theme and served up absolutely free of charge. With all screenings beginning at 2:30 pm, it’s a celluloid smorgasbord that boasts some bold international flavors, some spicy scripting, and maybe just a little bit of scenery-chewing on the part of the actors.

The four-course matinee commences this Monday, April 6, with a showing the 2014 British dramedy The Trip to Italy. Steve Coogan (soon on display in the Showtime series Happyish) and Rob Brydon co-star in director Michael Winterbottom’s film as “themselves;” a pair of talkative friends who maintain an ongoing dialogue (on life, love and other weighty things) while competing for the viewer’s attention with some spectacular scenery and a spread of regional culinary delights. Edited into feature-length format from a 2014 BBC series, it’s a sequel to 2010’s The Trip, in which Rob and Steve similarly tour northern England — and it serves as an engaging appetizer, for the schedule that follows.

Notable as what was most likely the first feature film adapted from a blog, Nora Ephron’s 2009 Julie & Julia draws its inspiration from Julie Powell’s account of her attempt to cook all 524 recipes from Julia Child’s landmark Mastering the Art of French Cooking over the course of a single year — juxtaposing 21st century scenes of Powell (played by Amy Adams) with flashbacks to the life of famed TV French Chef Child (themselves drawn from her autobiography, My Life in France). Meryl Streep nails the role of Julia Child with her customary awesomeness and authority, and she’s abetted in her sequences by Stanley Tucci in what most critics agreed was one-half of a great film. It screens on Monday, April 13.

The afternoon of April 20 delivers a foreign-made item that flew well under the radar of American audiences when it came out in 2006. Written and directed by Ali Rafie and set in Iran, The Fish Fall In Love takes off from the ancient legend of Scheherezade; centering around a young man who discovers, upon returning to his family’s onetime home, that the place has been commandeered as a restaurant by a young woman and her family. In an attempt to dissuade him from selling the house, the girl endeavors to cook him a different delicious meal each and every day.

The April series concludes on Monday the 27th with something of a sinful dessert — Fatso, a comic portrait of a middle-aged man battling obesity, insecurity and lifelong habits. A 1980 project from executive producer Mel Brooks, the film spotlights a rare leading-role performance from Brooks regular Dom DeLuise — and stands as the sole feature written and directed by the Academy Award winning actress (and then-Mrs. Brooks), the late Anne Bancroft.

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Partyline
HEARTY FAREWELL FOR HARDY
RED BANK: Council to honor DPU supervisor Rich Hardy, who retired recently after almost 39 years of keeping things running.
HOMEBOUND? READ ON…
RED BANK: Can't get to the public library? It's now offering free delivery and pickups for homebound borough residents.
TAMING A BEAST OF A WEEK
RED BANK: After the second snowfall of the week, a borough family finds the perfect use for it – a Godzilla snow sculpture.
RED BANK: LIBRARY CLOSED, BUT THE HILL’S OPEN
RED BANK: Though the library was closed by a snowstorm, kids got to enjoy the riverfront property's steep slope Tuesday.
LIGHT(HOUSE) MAKEOVER
This year, getting ready for spring means a midwinter makeover for Strollo's Lighthouse in Red Bank.
TODAY: LOCAL PUPPY COMPETES ON ANIMAL PLANET’S “PUPPY BOWL”
Red Bank’s very own rescue puppy, Biscuit, is set to compete in Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl this Sunday, February 11, at 2 PM. Th ...
WHAT? NO redbankgreen NEWSLETTER?
Apologies to redbankgreen newsletter subscribers: the daily email hasn’t gone out for two days because of technical issues.
RED BANK: TIRED OF SKEETERS?
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SEA BRIGHT: POLAR PLUNGE FOR ST. JAMES, OTHERS
Hundreds braved the wind and sea on Sunday at 1PM in support of St. James Elementary School, and other Catholic schools in the area. The eve ...
RED BANK: RBR CLAIMS TITLE
RED BANK: Watch pure joy as the RBR boys basketball team celebrates its first B North championship in 17 years.
RED BANK: FORGET-IT FRIDAY
RED BANK: Train Station can be a lonely place Friday mornings, especially with cold rain in the forecast.
RED BANK: CROONING YOUR LOVE
RED BANK: Imagine a quartet of impeccably dressed gentlemen showing up at your beloved's workplace, singing of your love.
RED BANK: BLACK RIVER ROLLS ON
RED BANK: A 68-year-old rail freight engine can still be counted on to draw a trainspotting fan or two when it rolls through town.
RED BANK: ‘MONDAY SWEAT’ MEETS
RED BANK: Joined by the Hazlet Running Club, members of the Red Bank Run Club met for their "Monday Sweat" at Count Basie Field.
RED BANK: CARD SALE BOOSTS GYM DRIVE
RED BANK: Charter School Foundation offers student-deisgned Valentines cards to help raise funds for a gymnasium.
RED BANK: LOVE IS IN THE… WINDOW
RED BANK: Up next: Valentine's Day, and Partyline finds the Red Bank Chocolate Shoppe getting ready for a surge of love and craving.
CLOSING THE BOOK ON A GREAT CAREER
The Red Bank mayor and council honored with a resolution Linda Hewitt (in red) on her retirement from the Red Bank Public Library at Thursda ...
RED BANK: RAIL COMMUTER’S VIEW
A commuter's view of the Route 35 Cooper's Bridge over the Navesink River, as seen from North Jersey Coast Line train 3320 out of Red Bank F ...
RED BANK: PROMISING PROMS
RED BANK: Prom season approaches, and Lunch Break once again steps up with its 8th annual Prom Giveaway of donated dresses.
RED BANK: DOWN BY THE RIVER
RED BANK: Partyline contributor Karly Swaim captured a gloomy mood in Riverside Gardens Park Wednesday evening.