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“Off the Menu” at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Off the Menu took to the Santa Barbara International Film Festival for its world premiere. Directed by Jay Silverman and starring Dania Ramirez (Once Upon a Time, Devious Maids) and Santino Fontana (Frozen, Crazy-Ex Girlfriend), this indie romantic comedy brings a delightful mix of comedy, romance and food to the screen. Oh and did I mention that 50 percent of the cast is female and Latina? This film scores major points for that.

The film follows Joel Flanagan (Fontana), who is basically an overgrown bratty son working at his father’s corporate company. The company is a Mexican food company that yearns to find a more authentic experience. Because of his recent laziness and lack of full cooperation in the company, Joel is sent out to a small town in New Mexico to “research” new recipes. It’s here that he meets Javiera (Ramirez). By this point, the audience has already met Javiera, who is a working whole hearted mother who owns a restaurant that thrives off of a secret family recipe. The two do not initially get along, due to their upbringing and a couple of other factors.

Overall, while a bit predictable at times, the movie offers a sweet story about passion. Passion for love, life and most importantly, food! I highly recommend seeing the movie. It is currently available on VOD/DVD and on these online platforms and cable providers: iTunes, Amazon, Xbox, Googleplay, Vudu, Playstation, Dish, Fandango Now, Comcast, Direct TV, Fios, Spectrum, Optimism, Frontier, Cox, Cablevision, Sling, Time Warner, AT&T, and Mediacom. The DVD of Off The Menu is now available for pre-order on Amazon.

In addition to seeing the movie at its premiere, I had the pleasure of speaking with Dania and Jay at the Santa Barbara Film Festival. Check out those interviews below.

Written by Christian Streaty

professional crier, twilight zone resident, recent graduate, and writer

109 posts

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