by Michael Hofmann
Eden, a married woman, falls under the spell of the Cucina Erotica of eccentric master chef Gregor. Their platonic gourmet meetings jolt both Eden and Gregor out of their humdrum everyday lives; Eden’s marriage blossoms as a result. But they live in a small town in which nothing remains secret for long, and after Eden’s husband Xaver experiences the “erotic cuisine” for himself, he is forced to take action or else lose his wife.
Overweight, eccentric master chef Gregor (45) runs a small restaurant on the out-skirts of a health resort in southern Germany, where he celebrates his brand of “erotic cuisine” with a highly select group of fellow gourmets. He spends much of the little free time he has in a café where he gets to know one of the waitresses, Eden Drebb (30). Eden had moved to the small Black Forest town after marrying Xaver (32); she and her husband have a five-year-old daughter with Down Syndrome named Leonie. Gregor meets Leonie when she tumbles into a fountain in the park and he pulls her out. He is touched by the little girl. He decides to bake a cake for her fifth birthday and decorates it with chocolates he has made himself. The taste of the chocolates sends Leonie into rapture. Puzzled by her daughter’s reaction, Eden tastes one of the chocolates herself and is stunned. She shows up unannounced at Gregor’s house one evening, and in a veritable frenzy devours all the food he has prepared and then runs off without saying goodbye. But thanks to Leonie, the awkwardness is forgotten before long, and Eden and Gregor soon savor their frequent evening meetings in Gregor’s kitchen.
Thanks to this newfound platonic sensuality, Eden – and her marriage – blossom as never before, and Gregor, too, is soon cooking better than ever. However, Eden’s transformation makes Xaver’s friends suspicious; they spy on her and tell Xaver about his wife’s clandestine meetings with Gregor. Xaver manages to wangle a table in Gregor’s fully booked restaurant, and is also enthralled by Gregor’s Cucina Erotica. In an attempt to get Eden’s mind off Gregor, Xaver jumps at the chance to take her and Leonie to Paris for an extended weekend. Deprived of his muse, Gregor realizes that without the inspiration Eden provides him, he is but a mediocre chef.
When Eden discovers she is finally pregnant again – something she has long hoped for in vain – Xaver’s friends are convinced that Gregor is the father and start making jokes at Xaver’s expense. In order to defend his honor, Xaver gets into a brawl that he can’t possibly win. Soon afterwards, Gregor discovers that someone has broken into his wine cellar and completely trashed it. Since his stores of wine represented most of his assets, the bank cancels Gregor’s loan and he is forced to close his restaurant. Now that he has lost everything, Gregor finally admits to himself that he is in love with Eden.
Gregor doesn’t want to leave town without saying goodbye to Eden. When he drives to her house, Xaver opens the door. Gregor sees Eden standing behind him. Their eyes meet and they gaze at each other, unleashing a storm after which nothing will be the same again …
Michael Hofmann was born in 1961. After his A-levels and extensive travels to Italy, Great Britain and the Senegal he became a guest student at the French Film Academy FEMIS from 1985 to 1987 and received a scholarship at the DrehbuchWerkstatt München in 1994.
1997/98 »Der Strand von Trouville« (Trouville Beach)
1993 »Big Eyes«
1993 »Sex & Drugs«
1988 »Kleine Fische«
1988 »An ganz normalen Tagen geschehen Dinge wie diese«
1982 »Die hängenden Gärten«
Josef Ostendorf - Gregor
Charlotte Roche - Eden
Devid Striesow - Xaver
Max Rüdlinger - Ludwig
Leonie Stepp - Leonie
Roeland Wiesnekker - Frank
Screenplay, Director: Michael Hofmann
Director of Photography: Jutta Pohlmann
Editors: Bernhard Wiessner, Isabel Meier
Music: Christoph Kaiser, Julian Maas
Producers: Michael Jungfleisch, GAMBIT Film und Fernsehproduktion GmbH and for Gambit, Robert Geisler
Co-Producers Germany: Ulrich Herrmann (SWR), Claudia Simionescu (BR) Frank Evers (CinePlus), Volker Uri (CinePlus), Christian Colmorgen (CinePlus)
Co-Producers Switzerland: Andi Huber (C-Films), Peter Reichenbach (C-Films), Lilian Räber Teleclub Switzerland (SF DRS)
Format: 35 mm / 25fps / 1:1.85 / Colour / Dolby Digital
Length: 98 min
Original language: German
Original title: Eden