Gregor (Josef Ostendorf), a world-class chef specializing in "erotic dishes," wears his epicurean lust on his waistline but finds himself starved for companionship; that is, until he meets Eden (Charlotte Roche), a waitress at a German resort. Beautiful and charming as she may be, the portly chef soon discovers that his love interest is married and has a developmentally disabled daughter. After several awkward missteps, Gregor and Eden embark on a relationship that transcends the needs of human flesh. Gregor loves to cook and Eden loves to eat, so he prepares sumptuous meals of fine meats and orgasmic chocolates, all of which awaken Eden's spirit. Michael Hofmann's gentle tale of gastronomy's many pleasures is a love story at heart. Eden's husband, an aerobics instructor for pensioners, is not keen on Gregor and Eden's simmering intimacy, despite the fact that Gregor's repasts have energized the couple's lovemaking and also enhanced their daughter's IQ level. The emotional back-and-forth in each character builds, creating a recipe for stirred emotions. At once heartbreaking, uplifting, and just plain delicious, Eden illustrates that we are not what we eat, but how we eat. It is hard to believe that some of the most sublime culinary pleasures can wreak havoc on the body. The spark of human emotions is no different. Eden is a paradise of sorts for Gregor, but her complexities consume him. To strike the balance between what dances on the tongue and what ignites the spirit is rare. In Eden, it is well done.
Michael Hofmann began his career as a freelance writer and director in 1991. He has made several short films, including Die hängende Garten, The Tale of the Girl and the Bear, and Sex & Drugs. He directed the 1993 documentary Big Eyes, and in 1999 made his feature directorial debut with Der Strand von Trouville (The Beach at Trouville). He followed that with the feature Sophiiiie! in 2002.