We have never attended a tasting menu, so we have to rely on the reports of others. Some claim THE MENU is fairly accurate in its basics, while others emphasize the satire in its excesses. In that it may be like the wine-tasting in SIDEWAYS, but taken to extremes. (In SIDEWAYS, it's the "hint of asparagus" in a wine that is amusing; in THE MENU a wine has "a faint scent of longing and regret".)
There is also a first course that looks like the island with rocks, plant sprigs, and one scallop. There is a bread course without bread. These may actually be accurate to some tasting menus. But as the meal progresses, it is clear that much of what we see is not. (I'm pretty such that the tortillas are strictly social commentary.)
Sometimes everything seems to connect. Ralph Fiennes is in this; his nephew is in THE WOMAN KING, which we saw the day after we saw THE MENU. There is a private island in THE MENU; there is also one in THE GLASS ONION, which we saw two days earlier. (In THE MENU, Fiennes has a grudge against all his guests. In THE GLASS ONION, all the guests have a grudge against Edward Norton.) And there is even a connection to THE BANSHEES OF INISHERIN, but telling you what it is would be a spoiler.
Released theatrically 18 November 2022. Rating: high +2 (-4 to +4) or 8/10
Film Credits: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9764362/reference
What others are saying: https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the_menu
Mark R. Leeper Copyright 2023 Mark R. Leeper