A Recipe for Seduction (2020)

Wolfy’s review: It took all of 15 minutes for this thing to resolve. A short time, to be sure, but after having watched Lifetime’s mini-movie A Recipe for Seduction, I feel like I’ve had concentrated romantic drama cheese injected straight into my veins and it’s still roaring through my system, bringing eye-rolling, howling laughter to mind.

There’s no way to put this delicately: A Recipe for Seduction is a romantic drama starring Mario Lopez as KFC’s Harland Sanders who works as a private chef for a well-to-do family and earns the affections of a young heiress named Jessica, but their chance for love is threatened by Jessica’s mother, Bunny, who is forcing a marriage between Jessica and a wealthy man named Billy in order to clear the family debt.

If you read that brief of the movie and sorted out roughly how things would play out, then congratulations, you’ve watched the entire film in your head. The story absolutely runs at full throttle, slapping romantic drama touchpoints along the way like a caffeinated paper route runner. It’s got obsession, a romance that forms after literally one conversation, lying, cheating, attempted murders, and a happy ending. It even ends on a cliffhanger as Billy meets Bunny at a sanitarium, telling her that “We found them” right before he threateningly tears into a drumstick of fried chicken in what can only be classed as Mac and Me levels of hope for building a franchise out of the whole ordeal.

To the movie’s credit, it absolutely goes in and has higher than average made-for-TV movie production value. Furthermore, the actors really seem to have put in their all, except for Lopez, who seems less like a realization of Sanders and more like a Sanders cosplayer, or the sort of person who takes on a role the same way Matt Damon or Ben Affleck do; they’re less like their characters and more like they’re themselves reading the lines for characters. Still, it’s hard to deny the unmitigated, shriek-inducing delight of Lopez’s delivery of “Don’t call me ‘Crouton.'”

As a romantic drama, A Recipe for Seduction barely stands up. As an advertisement for KFC, it holds even less water. But then, there’s this whole sort of honest admittance of silliness and earnest attempt at trying anyway. This is, after all, the fast food chain that released a visual novel about itself. It also released a chicken sandwich that replaced the bread with two pieces of chicken. Basically, the movie knows it’s a goofy idea and it also knows that you know it’s a goofy idea, but it has fun anyway. It is, quite literally, the Sharknado of romantic dramas.

I loved every cringe-inducing, shout-laughing second of this completely insane film. Simply because I knew it was going to be all of those things and more and it absolutely didn’t disappoint. Despite it falling short of the standards of romantic drama TV films, however low those may be, it still was the most entertaining 15 minutes I’ve ever witnessed.

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