Despite the international title, Patissiere Coin de Rue being in French, this is not a tale set in Paris, or even in France. Instead we are set up in Tokyo, Japan. Actually the title of the film is also the name of an elegant cafe where the finest cakes and pastries are made and enjoyed. For the record, the Japanese title is Yougashiten Koandoru which means the same as the French words. But let’s get on with the review.
Q: What’s wrong with my cake?
A: You work too slowly. Your cream was too runny. The syrup was uneven.
That’s not good news for the young woman, Natsume, who begged for a job at the elegant Patissiere Coin de Rue. She had come to Tokyo from Kagoshima following a boy from her hometown, who she considered to be much more than a friend and almost her fiancée. His name was Umi and he’d come to Tokyo earlier and landed a job at the Patissiere Coin de Rue because he wanted to become a better baker than she was. Only he left the Patisierre, likely because he wasn’t up to the task.
When Natsume, showed up and did not find Umi, she was at first disappointed. She was also in denial. He had written a letter to her when he left Kagoshima – ‘this is goodbye – I’m sure you’ll find another man‘, and so forth, a ‘Dear Joan’ letter if there ever was one, but she wasn’t ready to accept that he had left her.
At the Patissiere after getting the news that Umi no longer worked there, and no one knew where he could be found, Natsume asks for a job (they were looking for someone) and is given an opportunity. She’s to make a cake from scratch as her audition, a trial by fire as it were.
When finished, the patissiere staff all sampled it and no one jumped out of their shoes in excitement. It was a passable cake for a Christmas Sale – but not up to their exacting standards. So she was turned down. The proprietress sat her down and told that she should look for work elsewhere. She offered the young baker, a nice dessert to eat and to soften the after taste of being turned down.