A Recipe For Seduction is shameless. This is just a big corporate ad by KFC on Lifetime featuring Mario Lopez and no one else you’ll recognize. This is the evolution of Super Bowl commercials from 2 and 3 minute mini-movies into 15 minute “films”. And that’s bad because eventually I can totally see a future where every movie and TV show is like a college football bowl game. “Thanks for tuning into Wendy’s Black Panther 3 presented by Xbox”. This fully is the network auditioning the idea of a sponsored movie to do more. But here’s the thing, A Recipe for Seduction is kinda good.
Now, this isn’t good in any traditional sense of film or cinema or movie making. But it’s good because its 15 minutes of absurd escapism that is fully aware of its reality. The tagline of the film is “Piping hot love affair of deep fried goodness.” When something knows how ridiculous it is, and then it works with that instead of being ashamed then you can get gems. We’ve reached an era in media where creators don’t go “That’s stupid. We won’t do it!” anymore and instead go “That’s stupid. Let’s make it work!” to varying degrees of success.
I don’t know where to really start describing this ad, but I’ll try. It has no business being as… good as it is. It is a 15 minute KFC branded parody of those generic Lifetime movies with a side order of soap opera. But because they have that KFC money, it being 15 minutes long and them having fun with the idea it almost feels better than those Lifetime/Hallmark/W channel movies. It’s well shot. The sets are real and actually nice. The scenes are generally well done. The acting is on point for exactly what this is and maybe even too good as you start to buy the chemistry between the actors.
However, its also a movie made by KFC so you get weirdness. Mario Lopez’s beautiful, thick jet black hair looks like they used cheap Halloween die to grey it out. This millionaire family is having their big Christmas dinner party and serving KFC chicken and sides. The big stinger at the end to tease a sequel is a guy taking a giant bite out of a drum stick.
When it comes to the events of the film, here is the chicken fried version of the synopsis:
“As the holidays draw near, a young heiress contends with the affections of a suitor who has been hand-picked by her mother. When a handsome chef arrives with a secret recipe and a dream, he sets in motion a series of events that unravel her plans.”
Mario Lopez plays Harland Sanders, but he’s not a colonel so shrugging emoji. Maybe we get that in the sequel. He falls in love with our main girl Jessica, Justene Alpert, who is dating and must have at some point liked Billy Garibaldi III, Chad Doreck, who is her rich douchebag boyfriend that her mother, Tessa Munro, is urging her to marry so that they can get his fortune. Not spoilers because that’s all laid out like 2 minutes into the film. There is no time to waste, this film races to the finish line like Rise of Skywalker.
I also want to give quick props to Martin Morrow as Lee, the gay black friend of Jessica. He’s pulling double duty on the diversity checklist and does a fine job in the movie.
As for the rest of the film, just try to think of how comical Days of our Lives is in those snippets on Friends. Then dial that up to 10 with betrayal and money and cheating and lies and murder and forbidden love. Then mix in your KFC themes like the humble chef with a secret recipe and a few hilarious lines meant to be menacing like “Beat it crouton!” which is followed by “Don’t call me crouton!” and “Merry Christmas!”
All in all, this was basically a joy to watch? I mean, I didn’t want my time back after I watched it and it was genuinely entertaining in such a weird way. I’m a sucker for when things are ridiculous and weird but so honest about those aspects, while keeping things just serious enough. It’s something I hope the Mortal Kombat movie pulls off.
It makes me in a weird way want to see the Fast Food Chain Cinematic Universe. The Ronald McDonald biopic, Wendy’s: Origins, Hard Times Documentary: The Divorce of Burger King and Dairy Queen. However, I hate that I am thinking like this. Go away brands.
Now with this movie, the KFC dating simulator video game and the KFConsole it just leaves me wondering at what points brands will stop. Like, is KFC going to buy Nintendo and rebrand all the in-game food in Zelda and Pokemon? Will Wendy’s partner with NASA for burger planets and combo moons? Are we going to see McDonalds co-branding in governments? I have no idea, but they keep pushing.
You go into this knowing whether you’re going to hate it or not. As a call to action to buy KFC chicken it isn’t great as I still don’t feel like eating KFC. But it also made me think about KFC more than I have in a decade, I have written this review about a KFC property on my website and will be creating some level of discussion amongst those who read this. One of my friends actually bought KFC after I was texting about watching this movie. Success for KFC!
You can watch the movie below. Its 15 minutes that flies by.
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