The Swedish film Love and Lemons follows in the grand American tradition of romantic comedy—down to the meet-cute, the dollop of bad timing, and the slew of pratfalls. Any student of the genre will see the plot’s gears grinding from a mile away. We meet our hero Agnes (Rakel Wärmländer) as she gets fired and dumped on the same night. A lover of cooking, she invests her parents’ savings to open a new restaurant, where she is in charge of hospitality. Might a pivotal scene in the film require her to don the chef’s apron and cook the one meal she could never master? You tell me, rom-com experts. The romance arrives in the person of a man in Agnes’ building (Sverrir Gudnason), who is an influential restaurant critic writing pseudonymously. Her colleagues hatch a plot for Agnes to take him to the restaurant for a coveted review, which involves her hiding her co-owner status. A deception at the center of a budding romance—you don’t say! Love and Lemons, based on a Swedish novel of the same name, is best when examining the ethics of using feminine wiles to get what you want. But the film spends far more time drawing out the idea of cooking as metaphor, asking hackneyed questions like whether there’s a recipe for love. Unfortunately, Love and Lemons is missing some key ingredients itself.