• R, 1 hr. 39 min.
  • Comedy
  • Directed By:
    David Kaplan
    In Theaters:
    Nov 19, 2010 Limited
    On DVD:
    Sep 20, 2011
  • Inimitable Pictures


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Today's Special Reviews

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Cynthia S

Super Reviewer

October 11, 2012
Very nicely done. An American/Hindi film that was quite a surprise. Makes me want to go find some nice Indian food for dinner...
August 13, 2014
Saw "Today's Special". Those who love food and the art of cooking just like music will love it.. Naseeruddin Shah did a memorable role in this movie, a truly great acting talent. Special thanks to my sweet friend Leena for recommending it. Today's Special is a 2009 independent comedy film loosely inspired by Aasif Mandvi's play, Sakina's Restaurant.
June 14, 2014
Wonderful movie!!! On Netflix!!
May 4, 2014
Absolutely delish and delightful. I love this movie!
October 24, 2013
Enjoyable film with an Indy feel. Some great performances for a basic premise. Enjoyable and humorous film.
October 6, 2013
well written gem that will make you want to eat some great indian food--or any food!
September 12, 2013
This movie is proof that any delicious cuisine can save some terrible acting jobs. Although many recognizable actors seem to pop up in this film, doesn't seem worth sitting down for the time it takes for the main character to achieve the goal that was laid out for us since the beginning.
May 26, 2012
85% (bumped up from an 83%) This was one helluva funny ass movie, gotta love Aasif Mandvi. Not to mention my aunt was the property master assistant for this film in the Art Department.
January 10, 2013
Today's Special is nothing 'special', but is a nice feel good movie. With above average acting and a decent story, I definitely enjoyed it.
May 16, 2012
absolutely lovely looking foods and more awesome looking foods and foods and foods...
Sidd B.
September 10, 2012
Rarely have I seen a movie try so hard to hit all the cultural clichés and stereotypes of an Indian-American fusion attempt as does this Aasif Mandvi starring foodie film ?Today?s Special? (subtitle: Trust Me as actually written on the Daily Special?s board for naïve passers-by/us to see). From the get go we have a cast that is manned by Harish Patel (role reprised from British success ?Run Fat Boy, Run) as the dad, Food Goddess Marhur Jaffery as the mom, and bankable stalwart Naseruddin Shah who rounds off the list by playing the older teacher-cum-father-figure who ultimately enables the reconciliation of the actual father and son in the penultimate scene of the movie.

Along the way, Aasif?s culinary preparations as sous-chef are first found wanting for lacking heart (or ?not giving him a hard-on?, as his main chef chastises). So when that honor, and the job that Aasif was coveting, goes to a sordidly young 25-year old, Aasif quits in disgust. In a move seemingly lifted straight from the ?lie about the first-thing-I-see? pantheon, Aasif tells his co-worker (and soon to be love interest that he had verbally bitch-slapped before) that he plans to head to gay Paris and do a stage with the French ?cooking greats?. Enter Shah as the quasi-mystical brown taxi-driver in New York (ratio 2:3 of brown: non-brown) - who quite coincidentally happens to pick up Mandvi on the VERY day he slips into unemployment. Shah says he used to be a chef back in the day in the Motherland and drops his business card off with Mandvi after drunk-driving his through the streets of NYC.

The (race)card, of course, is going to pop up again just past the mid-way point when Aasif is in the ignoble position of phoning ANOTHER Indian restaurant to supply patrons at his father?s restaurant with food because he told the orange-bearded (and hence devout-Muslim) chef to ?fuck-off? - causing his to quit. But before we get there, there?s GOT to be enough time for the ?pictures of prospective South-Asian brides? greatest hits. Mother and father are sad that their only remaining son (because other, more promising kid died young of course!) is a wastrel who can bear them no children because he?s not interested in marriage. Dad has a massive coronary failure (?heart-attack scene? for those using the cliché- counter) and poor Aasif is guilted into running the restaurant while his father recovers.

There?s clearly got to be a inter-racial romantic angel to this Hollywood-Bollywood staple for it to be put in the all time formulaic canon (subscript: hero and heroine (almost) kissing must be the very last scene or else it?s an insta-disqualification) . The chemistry between the romantic leads is dubious, but the contrived and LITERAL accidental re-meeting is in there, so screw it (plus I like Jess Weixler and the cutie pie who plays her baby daughter :) Thus, in time for the final scene, they sack up, and get together for the sake of love (of the restaurant, silly) but only after a favorable the 3 star review in the NYT. By the end, I was primed and ready for the slow-clap cascading into thunderous applause when Aasif is called into his triumphantly redeemed dining hall filled with New York scenesters (and the friendly old Jewish couple from round the corner naturally).

Sadly, Mandvi?s acting is characterized by an unendearing awkwardness at times as well as a lack of emotional depth (repertoire ranging mostly from ?comically angry? to ?lovably sad?). Interestingly, this is the perfect set-up for his appearances on the Daily Show ? which is where I think he?s the best placed right now (playing the irony-spewing and hypocrisy-exposing Muslim-American fall guy to Jon Stewart?s faux-establishmentarianism). In the end, besides some cute moments from the old-boys who play side-roles (as cricket-loving, wife-hating old Indian regulars Shah and Patel - again, the commonest names and characterizations in/of India), I think the fact that the restaurant in question is called Tandoori Palace should tell you all you need to know about how generic this move might taste...
August 17, 2012
A very low budget film with low expectations of itself. Cute, easy to digest but as thin as chicken broth. Disappointing.
August 8, 2012
And Today's Special is... Spaghetti and Meatballs!!
June 15, 2012
Nobody is mentioning Madhur Jaffrey, the great Indian cookbook author who must have had at least some input on the presentation of the food. This woman's recipes are absolutley great. This movie made me sooo hungry after watching it that I immediately pulled out one of her books to find a recipe for tomorrow's dinner.
May 18, 2012
Actually, I want YOU to see this. It is a gem!
May 13, 2012
Definitely fun to Watch, the actings are good, specially liked Samir (Aasif), Carrie (Jess) and Samir's father (Harish). The comedy flicks are worthwhile to mention, my best one was the scene when Hasim was about to fall back while trying to prayer with his son and the next scene he was given a chair: so hilarious! Akbar (Naseeruddin) does not need any special intro: people familiar with orthodox and unorthodox indian cinema already knows the talent, but he has done a wonderful job in this movie: being the mentor and keeping a low profile while making Aasif do the actual work at the end. The sweet chemistry between Aasif and Carrie had made the movie charming. A good watch on any day. Little bit slow pace, but that's how most of the drama/comedies are, so can't really complain.
April 16, 2012
I give it 100%. Great movie, great story and absolutely organic performance. Believable story, much better than Hollywood restaurant typical movies.

Life, Love and Food, what more could you ask for ?
March 25, 2012
Predictable and not too deep, but even so, enjoyable romantic comedy with some good messages.
December 29, 2010
Today's Special -I went to see Aasif's film project when it opened @ River Oaks and again on the following Sunday. As Aasif has asked, I've ben excited to tell anyone who will listen about a film that is a work of simple fun, and great heart. Aasif is such a gifted artist, actor/comic and the trailer for Today's Special has such clever lines that I eagerly looked forward to the film opening in Houston, Tx. I had read the following post on the fb Today's Special page and realized it spoke to the anticipatory feelings based on the work I had seen of this talented man. Anjul Nigam to Aasif Mandvi Toiling in the world of independent films can can be tortuous. You have in your pocket this gem of a story waiting to be to be shared with an audience, but so often you go down one dead-end road after another, with a seemingly endless stream of empty promises. So when you see a movie that you know has had such a journey, you hope that the filmmaking team's efforts were well worth it. And so, as I went to see TODAY'S SPECIAL tonight, knowing that my friend writer-actor Aasif Mandvi had been developing this project for some time, I hoped it would be good. Well, I drove home tonight fully satiated... the film is exquisite, warm, honest, and delightful! A gem of a story that was more than worth the wait! I hope you all have a chance to see it... As I wrote,Anjul put his thoughts so eloquently I just wanted them available to more potential viewers. For me one of the many highlights was a moment when Aasif relays a story of his father, who takes him to the roof to look @ the lights of NYC, look all the lights, everything is possible here, a parallel to my own experience w/my grandmother, my hero, who said go to the top of the Empire State Building and watch the sun go down the lights of NYC come up, at one time there were only gas lights, and now electric, NYC has everything. love to my gma, and 2 Aasif's dad, they are so wise. amituofo, mary jaco so I can drive home fully satiated...more than worth my wait, having lauged and shared and seen this heartfelt fun film. amituofo, mary jaco
March 15, 2012
If you want to spend a deligthful evening, rent "Today's special" a fun movie about an Indian restaurant in NY. We looked at Indian recipes afterward!
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