An antic lark set in a divey restaurant in a run-down, hipster section of Hamburg (Wilhelmsburg, no less), Fatih Akin's Soul Kitchen is about as far afield - thematically, tonally - as you can get from the director's last feature. That was 2007's dark and deep The Edge of Heaven, a breathtaking meditation on the connections in our lives, the missed connections, and the sudden disconnect of death.
Soul Kitchen, on the other hand, is zany screwball farce. The eponymous eatery's cash-starved proprietor, a Greek transplant named Zinos (Adam Bousdoukos, who cowrote the screenplay with Akin), has hired a new chef (Birol Ünel) to drum up business. But the hotheaded cook's mixture of haute cuisine and hauteur does not sit well with longtime customers. They exit in droves.