A Royal Affair and Dinner at Haus Murphy's in Glendale
Sex and sauerbraten in this week's dinner and a movie pairing.
facebook.com/ARoyalAffairMovie / Heather Hoch
While a jumbo tub of hot buttered popcorn is one of our most frequently indulged guilty pleasures, we think a good movie deserves a little better company than junk food. Try out our movie and meal pairings for yourself or feel free to suggest one of your own favorites in the comments.
A Royal Affair Somehow Danish cinema has completely mastered the art of depressing an entire audience of moviegoers in a strangely satisfying way. We thought it might just be Lars von Trier who expertly saddened us in Breaking the Waves and Melancholia, but, though he served as an executive producer on A Royal Affair, director Nikolaj Arcel has proved his stuff this year earning accolades and a nomination for Best Foreign Language Film of 2012 in the next Golden Globes, along with making the short list for nominees for the same category in the Oscars.
Caroline and Struensee gettin' forbidden.
The period piece, set in the late 1700s, following Caroline Mathilde of England's betrothal to Christian VII, king of Denmark, who just happens to be completely crazy, infantile and obsessed with hookers. Obviously, this doesn't make Caroline super happy, but she eventually finds solace in Christian's new and most trusted advisor, a revolutionary doctor named Johann Struensee. Together they influence Christian into reforming the country to benefit the poor folk, but it all bites them in the bum once Christian finds out of their royal affair.
This was actually a really great film. Despite the moody love triangle and powdered wig exterior, the meat of the movie dealt with the pivotal moments that turned Denmark into the socially enlightened country it is. If only we had a crazy king like Christian who could be influenced by a Struensee, maybe then we wouldn't still be paying off student loans.
Can't get German food without getting some weiner schnitzel.
Haus Murphy's Ready for our own love affair with a German, we stopped over at Haus Murphy's in Glendale. The ultra-kitsch Bavarian joint is known for authentic eats, but we were met at the door with some pretty cheesy service. All of the servers come in costume and their over zealous attention got a little obnoxious.
While the food at Haus Murphy's is a taste of Germany, it's an outdated taste. Although it makes satisfying comfort food, it's bland as bland can be. Surely Deutschland has more flavor than fat and potatoes. Even the sauerkraut and sauerbraten were lacking in their vinegary sour nature, and squirting lemon over our weiner schnitzel just wasn't enough. Not to mention almost every plate is about $15 to $20, making the price tag way higher than the culinary experience provided. Plus we've had more texturally pleasing spätzel at FnB and more flavorful potato pancakes at almost any Jewish deli.
Overall, Haus Murphy's seems to be the kind of place you could take your great grandmother and youngest cousin; its lack of flavor is sure to satiate, but not intrigue, any palate. It's a pretty bad sign in my crowd when the desert doesn't even have enough flavor to keep our sweet teeth munching, but this time we left some of our strudel uneaten. What if we could make a restaurant with the authenticity of Haus Murphy's and the zest and spice of Struensee's lust? Surely it would end less tragically than both the movie and dinner did this week.
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