Movies about Food

Wednesday, May 11, 2011 at 6:27 am

Americans love to eat (that’s obvious), but it’s also a passion shared by people around the globe. As you peruse the following list of movies about food, be sure to pay attention to all the countries represented. You’ll soon notice that you don’t need a McDonald’s on every corner to enjoy stuffing yourself.

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Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009) – Based on the children’s book by Judi and Ron Barrett, this computer-animated movie revolves around a town where sardines are the only food that’s available. Thanks to a well-meaning scientist (voiced by Bill Hader), an experiment causes it to rain different foods every day. But the initial pleasure of the townsfolk turns to obesity and an approaching food storm of mammoth proportions. Adults may roll their eyes, but kids should love it.

Big Night (1996) – Arguably the best of all movies about food, Big Night stars Tony Shalhoub and Stanley Tucci as a pair of Italian immigrants who try to keep their restaurant afloat in 1950s New Jersey. When they learn famous musician Louis Prima will be a customer, they pull out all the stops in order to revitalize their business. Also starring Marc Anthony, Minnie Driver, Ian Holm, and Isabella Rossellini.

Julie & Julia (2009) – When her life hits a rut, an aspiring writer (Amy Adams) decides to cook all 524 recipes in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking and blog about the experience. Meanwhile, we also get the story of Julia Child (Meryl Streep) and her decision to write the book in the first place. Co-starring Stanley Tucci and Chris Messina.

Tampopo (1985) – This Japanese comedy features lots of food and lots of characters, as it’s essentially a series of vignettes that occasionally link together. Starring Ken Watanabe, Tsutomu Yamazaki, and Nobuko Miyamoto. Billed as the first “ramen western.”

Tortilla Soup (2001) – A comedy-drama starring Hector Elizondo as a Mexican-American chef who’s lost his sense of taste and smell since the death of his wife. He lives with his three daughters, each of whom is looking for romance. Based on Eat Drink Man Woman, the film co-stars Elizabeth Pena, Raquel Welch, and Paul Rodriguez.

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Ratatouille (2007) – Comedian Patton Oswalt provides the voice for Remy, a rat who dreams of becoming a celebrated French chef. In order to accomplish his goal, he forms a hilarious alliance with the garbage boy at an upscale restaurant in Paris. Yet another monster hit from Pixar, it grossed over $623 million at the box office.

Babette’s Feast (1987) – The first Danish film to win an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, Babette’s Feast tells the tale of two sisters, the housekeeper (Stephane Audran) they take in, and the lavish feast she throws to show her appreciation. Food and religion go hand-in-hand here, and watching the climactic feast will make your taste buds go crazy.

Soul Food (1997) – Portraying African-Americans in a more positive light than most Hollywood films, Soul Food would later inspire a Showtime series of the same name. Vanessa L. Williams, Vivica A. Fox, Nia Long, and Mekhi Phifer all star in this comedy-drama about a Chicago family that begins to encounter problems when their beloved matriarch (Irma P. Hall) slips into a coma. As you might have guessed from the title, the cooking and eating of soul food plays a major part in the narrative.

Eat Drink Man Woman (1994) – Ang Lee helmed this Taiwanese film that holds eating, drinking, and falling in love in equal regard. Sihung Lung stars as a widowed master of Chinese cuisine, and his three looking-for-love daughters are portrayed by Kuei-Mei Yang, Chien-lien Wu, and Yu-Wen Wang. Fans of Chinese cooking will be delighted by the many scenes dedicated to the delicious art.

Chocolat (2000) – When a woman (Juliette Binoche) and her daughter wander into a French village in 1959 and begin selling various chocolates, it revitalizes some of the locals and draws the ire of others. Johnny Depp co-stars as a Manush Romani who captures the heart of our heroine. This sensual tale of chocolate was nominated for five Academy Awards.

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If you’re tired of the fast food culture and would like to escape to a world filled with more sophisticated cuisine, be sure to try some of the good movies about food listed above. While they won’t fill your belly, they will tide you over until that next trip through the drive-thru.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 11th, 2011 at 6:27 am and is filed under Good Movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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