How to Cook Your Life


How to Cook Your Life (2007)


Critic Consensus: This charming doc takes its time while focusing on food, but highlights larger lessons that audiences will reflect upon long after leaving the theater.


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Movie Info

"How to Cook Your Life" is about the art of cooking. Zen priest of cookery, Edward Brown, demonstrates that food means much more than just nutrition and that cooking is a feast of the senses, as well as an act of love and generosity.

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Critic Reviews for How to Cook Your Life

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (10)

In How to Cook Your Life, Edward Espe Brown endearingly embodies one of Buddhism's guiding principles: a sense of humor about our arrogances and illusions.

Dec 6, 2007 | Full Review…

An unexpectedly charming and enlightening film.

Nov 16, 2007 | Rating: 4/5

If you enjoy time spent in the kitchen, you may find some surprising enlightenment in Brown's observations.

Nov 16, 2007 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Well-intentioned but lethargic.

Nov 16, 2007 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

A jaunty mix of chanting, baking and spiritual uplift, How to Cook Your Life introduces us to the cooking classes of Edward Espe Brown, a twinkling Zen priest.

Nov 16, 2007 | Rating: 4/5

Cook and Zen priest Edward Brown is profiled in this documentary by German filmmaker Doris Dörrie (Men), who follows the witty, pleasant Brown as he offers cooking and life lessons in Buddhist retreats in Austria and California.

Nov 15, 2007 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for How to Cook Your Life

Sure, documentaries are usually slow and uneventful, but they should be informative. Well, Doris Dorrie doesn't have much going on with informing in this picture.

There is no clear point as to what this documentary is trying to be. Is it a film about food? Is it about cooking? Is it about religion? Supposedly, a handful of people are attending some sort of zen class with cooking, but after a brief shot of the day's schedule in the beginning, there is no indication of any schedule being followed. The film bounces around from topic to topic and it also momentarily switches to other people for interviews that seem to be on a tangent from what Chef Edward Brown is talking about.

Chef Brown himself is very bland and monotonous in the way he talks. This makes this 90 minute picture extremely boring from beginning to end. He attempts humor from time to time, as he laughs at his own comments, but most, if not all, are very hard to find laughable.

How to Cook Your Life does have a message that some will connect with; however, this film just does a bad job at conveying it.

JY Skacto
JY Skacto

Super Reviewer

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