A year ago, we learned that Tiffany Haddish, Melissa McCarthy, and Elisabeth Moss were co-starring in a movie, The Kitchen, about mob wives who take over when their husbands go to jail. I’ve been super into this movie ever since, and the first trailer has done nothing to dissuade me. The Kitchen looks great—I’m getting a strong Widows vibe, which is not a bad thing because Widows is awesome. The cast is bonkers, rounded out by Common, Domhnall Gleeson, and Esteemed Character Actress Margo Martindale. I dig the energy in this trailer, from Gleeson’s hang dog expression to Moss’s glee at becoming a hitwoman, to the low-key comedic touches from Haddish and McCarthy. And yes, everyone does look great in the Seventies styling.
The one thing bumming me out about The Kitchen is the release date—August. I was hoping this would be a fall festival premiere, followed by an Oscar push. It’s a period drama starring three big name actresses, seems like a fit for award season. I wonder if the date is because The Kitchen is based on a comic book, and thus not to be taken so seriously, or if this is the effect of Widows. It was a fall festival/award season movie which face-planted once released in November (and then was shut out by the Oscars, so it didn’t even get some trophy shine to take the sting out of the disappointing box office). Did Widows’ box office struggle make Warner Brothers nervous about The Kitchen’s prospects? Or is it really a case of writing off a comic book movie with no superheroes? I don’t know which option is worse, but either way it’s relegated to August, a month destined to be dominated by Hobbs and Shaw. The Kitchen might end up as Booksmart II, a good movie up against a major franchise in a summer month, when people crave spectacle more than drama at the cinema. It will be a minor miracle if The Kitchen can break out against those odds.