There are a lot of movies that have food scenes, and even a lot of movies about food specifically, but there are a handful of movies in which food becomes its own character, if only for a fraction of a moment. These are the movies in which the food steals the show, and long after I’ve forgotten the fine points of the plot and even the characters’ names, I find my mouth watering remembering the food. Here is a sampling of the movies that ignite my foodie heart.
Goodfellas. I’ll admit, I’d never seen this movie before I married my husband, and it’s not my typical type of film, for sure. But the jailhouse cooking scene, the razor thin garlic, oh man. Get me to the nearest plate of spaghetti, please.
Like Water for Chocolate. I really don’t remember much about this movie beyond the food. OK, I remember that nearly every actor chewed up the scenery like it was actually edible, and but every dish just oozed deliciousness.
Soul Food. When the women get together to make a Sunday dinner of catfish, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, and cornbread, I have never wanted to be a part of another family so badly. Yum.
Simply Irresistible. Yes, this is something of an Americanized retread of Like Water for Chocolate. Yes, the thin plot brings to mind rejected pilots for the CW. And yes, one of the characters is, in fact, a magical crab. But this movie has 2 things going for it: the fashion (some crazy, some fantastic), and the food. I have actually sought out edible flowers as a result of watching this movie.
Julie & Julia. I spent far too many hours when I should have been working reading Julie Powell’s blog that inspired the book and the film, and that remains the best version of the story. But I adore the way Meryl Streep’s Julia nearly passes out with pleasure over her dinner’s butter sauce and the gusto with which she pulverizes onions, and it makes me want to get out a copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking and dive into it head first.
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. This is my favorite food movie of all time. And I mean the original Gene Wilder version (I do not acknowledge the existence of the Tim Burton one). I love, love, love the Chocolate Room scene, and I’d like to live out the rest of my days there. Who wouldn’t want to take a sip from a daffodil teacup or pluck a giant gummy bear from a tree? This is my idea of heaven (which would, of course, be calorie free).
What are the movies that stir your foodie soul?