Put the pills in the chamomile & drink it right up

On the happy side of life’s little ledger, I persuaded my consort to take me to see “Mid-August Lunch,” and we both squirmed through it, wondering if it was ever actually going to go anywhere. But we walked out feeling transported — it’s so very Italian, and you can almost smell the Rome apartment it’s filmed in. I was mostly interested in it for the food, and it definitely delivered, and not in a porn-ish way. Only the Italians would think sliced potatoes and fish fillets will bake in the same amount of time (branzino and orata there are always 375 degrees of separation from crudo). The crisp veal Milanese, the limp roasted asparagus, the cakes both store-bought and home-baked, the gooey/cheesy lasagne, the pasta-with-red-sauce portions are all just right. So much of the movie takes place in the kitchen and around the table it’s well worth watching once it comes to DVD. The poster slogan should be: No smarm, please. We’re Italian.