Ovid.TV Presents THE CHEF’S WIFE Review — Role Reversals

Marithe, a counselor in an adult training center, sits at her desk, with her client Carole across from her. The office has painted white walls filled to the brim with motivational posters. The camera’s positioned behind Marithe so we see Carol in full view as she explains her situation. She lifts her sleeve to reveal a rash on her arm. The rash signals to her, and in turn us, how her life is out of kilter. Carol’s main issue is that she feels sidelined in her husband’s busy restaurant world.  She wants to be independent and build a life of her own.

As Carole pours out her emotions, life coach Marithe sits confidently and reassures her that she can help Carole to navigate to the new life she desires. Marithe smiles and speaks strongly, explaining that she manages just fine alone and knows herself to be the person who can teach Carole how to do the same.

We learn though that Marithe’s life isn’t as rosy as she portrays.  Now that her son has left for college, she feels the emptiness of her nest.

Marithe and Carole's friendship soon grows more complicated than either expect

Ovid.TV’s Film Depicts Friendship of Two Women at a Crossroads

Watching Marithe and Carole’s friendship grow is one track in the story. We witness the moment though, when their fortunes begin to reverse. Marithe had arranged a meeting with Carole’s husband, Sam to explore getting a group of ex-factory workers jobs as waitresses in Sam’s new restaurant. When Marithe meets Sam there, he offers a tour. Upon entering, the camera zooms in and slows to show their eyes locking as he asks to take her coat. He leads her through the restaurant, explaining his process while she attempts to convince him to hire the women. Sam is worried the women don’t fit the restaurant’s aesthetic. We feel how their banter carries a rhythm. Even when disagreeing their words and tone convey respect for one another.  They eventually settle on a compromise. Then, as the unfinished ceiling gives way and the dry wall falls on Marithe, Sam slowly and carefully dusts her shoulders.  The two stand close, as he gazes down at her. Her cheeks blush. Abruptly, she takes her coat and leaves. 

Soon after, the camera focuses on Marithe discovering that she too is growing a rash, just like her friend Carole, and in the same place on her arm.

Slowly paced, the details and layers of how the two women reverse their roles in the world unfolds.  The Chef’s Wife,  in this reviewer’s opinion, is a good match for anyone who delights in the classic role reversal plot.  However, the movie is in French, so if you don’t love subtitles, this may not be the film for you!


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Emmanuelle Devos
Karine Viard
Roschdy Zem


Directed by Anne Le Ny

To watch the film, visit the OVID.tv page for The Chef’s Wife

Images courtesy of OVID.tv

Lydia Evans

About the Author: Lydia Evans

With a love of writing in all forms, Lydia hopes to inspire emotion of any kind in those who read her work. Lydia has a passion for living life to its fullest, garnering as few regrets as possible. She finds it’s her responsibility to put her all into all she does, whether it be baking a batch of her chocolate chip cookies, playing tennis with friends, or looking for her next show to binge.

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9 thoughts on “Ovid.TV Presents THE CHEF’S WIFE Review — Role Reversals

  1. Note to editor-in-chief: This is exactly the kind of story that I would be interested in. Shared to Facebook on my personal page.

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