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Favorite Movies About Food?

  • m

Hi'ya Hounds..

A few weeks back I rented the delightful Japanese comedy classic "Tampopo," which, for those of you who haven't seen it, centers on a young widow named Tampopo who is struggling to make ends meet by running a noodle restaurant. One day a passing truck driver (Goro) saves Tampopo's young son from being beaten by a group of school girls and is rewarded with a bowl of very bad ramen. Goro tells Tampopo the awful truth about her cooking and she asks for his help. Together they search for the perfect ramen recipe. Comedy ensues. And very charming comedy it is, too!

Anyway, by the end of the film, I had a hankering for ramen the likes of which I've never had! I absolutely HAD to have it! Fortunately, I live in Los Angeles, and there are quite a few great ramen shops to satiate such a craving.. so off to Asahi I went. Ah, hit the spot all right.

But it got me to thinking about movies that center on food.. or the preparation or celebration of food.. And I came up with a small handful that I've seen that I think are lovely films.. films that beautifully or artfully capture the magic of cooking, eating, and celebrating. Films that make you hungry!

So here's my short list of faves:
(in no particular order)

1) Tampopo
2) Big Night
3) Like Water for Chocolate

Hit reply and share your faves!

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  1. I love Big Night.

    Two other movies that made me hungry were Under the Tuscan Sun (though the book made me more hungry) and Big Fat Greek Wedding.

      1. "Babette's Feast." Superlative movie with or without food.

        "Eat Drink Man Woman" would probably be my runner up.

        10 Replies
        1. re: Fida

          I'll second Babette's Feast. Also, I sound seconds for Tampopo, Eat Drink Man Woman, and Big Night.

          But I'll also throw in a thumbs down for Mostly Martha - a tedious pile of cliches masquerading as a film. I had heard for ages how much I would like this movie, "because you love food." I happen to love good writing, too, however, so this one is right out. The food looked good, though. (Damn, someone is going to call me out for being too harsh. That someone is no doubt right. But have you every watched a movie that included all your most hated cliches, the ones that really push your buttons, so that you hate it out of all proportion? That's how I feel about this movie. Just ignore me.)

          For some reason, all the talk of cannoli in the Godfather movies always gets me hungry.

          1. re: curiousbaker

            I didn't like Mostly Martha either. It was recommended by a friend. I found it boring.

            1. re: JanR

              Which version did you see? There were two- I really liked to the original, which i think was german.

              I have not seen the one with catherine zeta jones- remakes are never very good.

              1. re: pierrot

                I enjoyed Mostly Martha immensely! I was sorry I watched the remake with Catherine Zeta Jones. Can't recall the name of it now.

          2. re: Fida

            Second on Babette's Feast - my idea of heaven would be a DVD of that with a huge file of outtakes from the cooking scenes...OY!! And I have determined that I will serve family and friends Caille en Sarcophage one of these days. Probably sometime after I've gotten really cool with brioche...

            Big Night is the other great one. Did anyone EVER come up with the definitive recipe for that incredible pie-like concoction?

            1. re: Will Owen
              JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)

              Stanley Tucci's (the producer and star of Big Night) mom and his food coach got together and wrote a cookbook called "Cucina & Famiglia". The timpano recipe is in there, I have made it, and it is every bit as fabulous as it looks.

              1. re: JK Grence (the Cosmic Jester)

                My vote goes to 'Big Night' too.

                The scene with the lay ordering the risotto and then sending it back is among my favorites.

              2. re: Will Owen

                I gotta go with Babette's Feast, with Tampopo, Like Water for Chocolate and Eat Drink Man Woman also making the list.

                I love the story line in Babette's Feast - a meal made with care can work magic.

                In Big Night, the scene where they are arguing in the kitchen and the one brother makes eggs for the other is so perfect - he moves with such assurance in the kitchen, like he has done it 1000 times before.

                1. re: snackish

                  The final scene in Big Night is my favorite scene in all of film. You'll notice that the scene is one long unbroken shot. There is also not a single word of dialogue spoken. Yet it conveys such warmth. Truely a great scene!

                2. re: Will Owen

                  I made a timpano once, for the other-pangolin-du-jour and me, four or five layers, each different. I couldn't believe that the thing held together. I was so pleased that I called up my sister after dinner and left her a drunken voice mail screaming "I'm a fucking guy!"(Re: the Ian Holm line). I wouldn't call mine definitive, but it's more interesting than most published recipes that I've seen, which seem to rely solely on things like meatballs, sausage meat, and penne (WTF?!?) as the fillings.

              3. I love Like Water For Chocolate (book and movie). I'd love to do one of those things where they make all the food from the movie, like they do with Big Night.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Adrian

                  I agree, Like Water For Chocolate was such a great movie!

                2. No particular order:
                  Eating Raoul
                  The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover
                  Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Pablo

                    Ha! I love your inclusion of "Eating Raoul"!

                    1. re: Fida

                      I accidentally rented "Eating Raoul" years ago when I actually intended to rent "My Dinner with Andre." Quite the surprise. What a disappointment!

                  2. Eat Drink Man Woman.
                    Fast Food Nation.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Peter

                      Just a note, I don't think that is Taiwanese food that they are cooking in the film.

                    2. Werner Herzog Eats His Shoe
                      Dumplings: Three....extremes
                      Hainan Chicken Rice (a.k.a. Rice Rhapsody)

                      Link: http://eatingchinese.org

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Gary Soup

                        Thanks for the ineresting link Gary Soup! I will enjoy this a lot!

                      2. Any film with The Three Stooges involving food.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: 2chez mike
                          Laughing Goddess

                          YES!!! The one where Curly has a fight with an oyster in his stew is priceless...

                          Link: http://www.stoogeworld.com/_Videograp...

                        2. I encourage all lovers of Sushi, particularly octopus, to check out the Korean film Old Boy.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: chris o

                            I love Old Boy. Almost got sick of potstickers just watching it.

                          2. Mostly Martha, Dinner Rush and Pieces of April.

                            1. 9 1/2 weeks.

                              1. Supersize Me

                                1. Last Tango In Paris. I will never look at butter in the same way again.

                                  One problem with Tampopo is that it uses Japanese negative stereotypes of the Chinese in some scenes (dirty and untrustworthy).

                                  Then there's the fat European who relieves everyone's insecurity by eating noisily. See, they're not so polite after all!

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: mr pc

                                    Huh, I'm Chinese American, and didn't catch those stereotypes, where were they exactly? Thanks.

                                    1. re: Grace Toy

                                      The grubby restaurant where Tampopo tries to get the cook to give up his soup recipe and then the shifty neighbor who leads her into his overloaded shop where she's terrified until he shows her the peephole. Common Japanese views about Chinese and Koreans as well.

                                  2. OK. Not a movie about food, really, but a great bit: French Connection 2, where Popeye Doyle has been kidnapped, addicted to heroin, and left for dead (or at least left as a "message"--one gets the idea that his good health or survival is not particularly a concern) and found by the French police chief he has been working with. They are combing Marseilles in a boat, trying to trace where Popeye was being held. On shore an attractive woman is strolling along, eating a double ice cream cone. Popeye says: "I'd like some of that." French police chief says, "Are you crazy? A woman right now would kill you!" And Popeye replies, "Not the woman, you fool--what's she's eating!" Cut to: Popeye with his own double cone.

                                    (I also developed a craving for white terrycloth bathrobes from this movie.)

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: LT from LF

                                      Didn't Popeye, during withdrawal, start craving a big juicy burger? No? Yes? Am I crazy? Do tell.

                                    2. Vatel.



                                      1. i haven't yet seen tampopo, Big Night, eat drink man woman, so I'm really not in a position to judge! That said, I enjoyed:

                                        What's Cookin' - four cultures cook their Thanksgiving meals in four interweaving stories

                                        Tortilla Soup - A MExican-American retake of eat drink man woman. the cooking scenes involved whole fish, grilled cactus, and other things that made me really hungry.

                                        Did anyone mention Chocolat? Talk about chocolate cravings when I left the cinema...

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Kate

                                          I have a copy of Chocolat, which I can never watch without first making a batch of extra-strong, extra-dark hot chocolate (dutch process), complete with a pinch of chile!

                                        2. b

                                          "La Grande Bouffe" with Marcello Mastroianni, Ugo Tognazzi, Michel Piccoli and Philippe Noiret. Your typical gourmets decide to eat themselves to death plot.

                                          1. 'Eat This New York' is an excellent documentary about the restaurant business in NYC. The likes of Drew Nieporent, Daniel Boulud, Ruth Reichl et al make appearances.

                                            'The Joy Luck Club' The ritual surrounding the praise of the Mother's cooking is priceless.

                                            1. "Eat, Drink, Man, Woman"
                                              "Dinner Rush"
                                              "Babette Feast"
                                              "Tortilla Soup"
                                              "What's Cooking?"

                                              1. This is a fun topic to think about whilst drifting off to sleep, with a full belly.

                                                Coca-Cola Kid; a battle in an Australian area over soda brand supremacy.

                                                Gregory's Girl: the high school chef so passionate about his product.

                                                Mystic Pizza: what is in that sauce?

                                                Diva: this is how to butter a baguette

                                                Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore: working in a diner

                                                Baghdad Cafe

                                                Eat a bowl of tea

                                                Sixteen Candles: grandmom cooking breakfast, filling the pan with cigarette ashes

                                                Bobby Deerfield: having a picnic in a field in Italy and then accepting a stranger's offer to go up in his hot air balloon because you can't tie yourself down by not taking chances

                                                And Now My Love: waiter asking if they want right or left chicken leg; don't lie that you take 3 cubes of sugar in coffee

                                                1. Good mentions so far. One more: 91⁄2 Weeks.

                                                  1. Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

                                                    1. 1. Not a movie but a TV show.
                                                      Columbo: Murder Under Glass
                                                      Louis Jourdan is a popular chef of a cooking show and a murderer.

                                                      2. Not a movie about food but has a memorable scene with food(?).
                                                      Charles Chaplin's "The Gold Rush"
                                                      Shoes never looked so delicious.

                                                      1. The scene in Goodfellas where they slice the garlic witha razor blade and it melts itno the pan.

                                                        The scene in Spanglish where Adam Sandler makes a sandwich that oozes egg yolk when he cuts it. Thomas Keller was food consultant on that film.

                                                        1. A couple others...

                                                          Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle (the lure of the slider)
                                                          What's Up, Tiger Lily? (tenuously food related and funny as all heck!)

                                                          My favorite is Big Night. I've watched it a few times and the ending always gets me.

                                                          1. Wow. This is a tough one. I would have to say at the moment my favorite food movie is Chocolat.

                                                            1. What the heck, I will weigh in since this thread is active. It is so nice to interact with other people who have heard of Tampopo. I think my favorite experience of seeing a food movie goes to Chocolat--the theatre I went to had ushers at every showing who gave a piece of chocolate to every person leaving the theatre! Definitely needed at that point!

                                                                1. DUDES.................................!
                                                                  not a soul has mentioned what is clearly one of the best.
                                                                  WHO'S KILLING THE GREAT CHEFS OF EUROPE?
                                                                  stars jaquelinne bissert and george segal when both were young.
                                                                  AN ABSOLUTE MUST SEE!
                                                                  and i know a few more i might be coaxed into sharing with you all

                                                                  1. The eating scene from "Tom Jones".

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: pikawicca

                                                                      That's not an eating scene. That's a foreplay scene. Maybe the sexiest ever.

                                                                    2. well, no one has coaxed me! but i can't keep my mouth shut as this is a rather important topic.
                                                                      RARE BIRDS the eccentric tale of a restaurant in nova scotia with william hurt starring as chef.
                                                                      i am betting no one will be able to suggest a movie i havent seen.......but i would be delighted to be turned on to something i MAY have missed.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: tastelessfruit

                                                                        Here's one you might not have seen. Satantango, by Hungarian director Bela Tarr. Tarr is known for his incredible camerawork. Every shot in a Tarr film is between ten and fifteen minutes long. It may take months to do a single shot. And it's worth it. The camera swoops, glides, and soars. It circles the characters, it moves from scene to scene. It may, as in "Satantango," travel with a herd of cows around a village, or follow the nocturnal peregrinations of an obese agoraphobic drunk who is forced to leave his house because he's run out of booze. Satantango, incidentally, is well over seven hours long, and I wouldn't have cut a minute of it. There is one shot in which a tray of luscious food is precariously balanced during a bar fight. I bet it took lots of takes to film that one, the tray probably dropped at some point during most of the attempts.

                                                                        1. re: tastelessfruit

                                                                          Yay for Rare Birds.....however this was set in Newfoundland, not Nova Scotia.

                                                                        2. okay i take on the challenge. Strangers in Good Company. bus breaks down. one woman hoards her food. another catches fish with pantyhose.

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: himbeer

                                                                            kewl! i'll have to investigate. sounds just my speed!
                                                                            here you go:
                                                                            EAT YOUR HEART OUT : a group of young hip la friends living harmoniously in a loft until one is chosen to be a television chef and becomes famous.

                                                                            1. re: tastelessfruit

                                                                              cannibal women in the avocado jungle of death. adrienne barbeau, shannon tweed and umm, eating of manly flesh

                                                                          2. The pate scene from "War of the Roses". . .woof. :-D

                                                                            I also love "Big Night" and "Super-Size Me." I tried to watch "Old Boy" one night when I was in bed, but it was so disturbing I had to turn it off (and I'm a Tarantino fan). I'll try watching it again in the daylight to see the parts about sushi. :-P

                                                                            1. okay i'm stretching here. victor/victoria trying to get a free meal by letting loose a cockroach.

                                                                              personal best: getting sick from unwashed fruit in mexico?

                                                                              1. joe cocker's you can leave your hat on from 9 1/2 weeks is storming my mind

                                                                                1. I love "Like Water for Chocolate" (though the movie downplayed the food aspects, in comparison to the novel) -- also liked Supersize-Me, though that's a food movie of a whole other league.

                                                                                  1. I've noticed a heartening trend of late. Cooking has been used by films, even mainstream Hollywood blockbusters, as a synecdoche for artistic creativity, or even a metaphor for the infinite variety of the human soul. Like Water for Chocolate is a good example. And dumbing down the recipe, selling out to a chain, then is used to symbolize selling one's soul. First Night uses something like that to symbolize the struggle between good and evil. (Though the bad guy's sellout restaurant looked like a fun place to be.) In Sideways, the main character is basically a chowhound, of the wine variety, and it is that facet of his character, always at war with the selfish-pig aspect, that gets the girl. Eat Drink Man Woman uses food as the battleground (and ultimately the bridge) between generations. So did Dinner Rush. Jet Lag, a French movie, does that too, with a twist. The son, who has gone to New York to run a frozen food company, returns to Brittany to cook in his father's 3-star restaurant. In Woman on Top, which itself is a dumbed-down, but likeable, version of LIke Water for Chocolate, the main character realizes the man she thought she loved is the wrong man for her when he suggests that she substitute canned for fresh peppers in her favorite recipe. You've gotta love a film like that!

                                                                                    There's a similar thread, also on this board.

                                                                                    1. Tortilla Soup
                                                                                      Crossing Delancey (The Barrels of Pickles!!!)
                                                                                      Harold and Kumar

                                                                                      1. Robert Rodriguez' "Once upon A Time in Mexico" wasn't about food, but there was a bit in there about PUERO PIBIL. Turns out that the dvd has his mom's DELICIOUS recipe for it.

                                                                                        1. I've been hearing about "Big Night" for years and never remember to rent it when we're at the video store.

                                                                                          One I particularly like is "The Wedding Banquet." It's an Ang Lee movie that I watched in a college class. I've never seen it in a video store, but I'd love to see it again.

                                                                                          1. Best Scene - John Candy flipping the monster pancake in Uncle Buck!

                                                                                            1. Big Night
                                                                                              Woman on Top
                                                                                              Harold and Kumar
                                                                                              Fish Called Wanda - does the tank full of fish eaten by Kevin Kline count as food?
                                                                                              Alive: The Miracle of the Andes - giving a whole new meaning to the term "leg meat"

                                                                                              1. Chocolat
                                                                                                Tortilla Soup
                                                                                                Like Water For Chocolate

                                                                                                1. Big Night was incredible. I ran around St. Louis after seeing the film looking for an Italian place to eat; but, a;las, it was a Sunday so all the good places were closed and I went to The Pasta House. I agree with the assessment of the last scene, beautifully done.

                                                                                                  Eat Drink, Man, Woman. The original is the best, although I liked Tortilla Soup, it didn't really do it for me as much as Eat, Drink, Man, Woman.

                                                                                                  Joy Luck Club was terrific, especially the scene where the idiot anglo son-in-law pours soy sauce on the mother-in-law's perfectly made signature dish.

                                                                                                  Tampopo I liked also, mainly because it was the first food centeredmovie that I had seen. Babette's Feast was great but the ethos it evoked with the oppressive world view of all the dinner gests, except for the one guy who had a great time at the beginning was priceless.

                                                                                                  1. as i promised...one more stellar entry
                                                                                                    last years australian masterpiece.

                                                                                                    A MUST SEE! AS I'M CERTAIN YOU'LL AGREE

                                                                                                    1. Dumplings.

                                                                                                      Dark, Chinese and funny.

                                                                                                      1. Chicken Rice Wars. Made in Singapore, I caught this film at the Seattle International Film Festival a few years ago. It is loosely based on Romeo and Juliet about (you guessed it) two competing families with Chicken Rice stalls. I remember little about the plot or the characters, but man was I hungry when I walked out of that film.

                                                                                                        1. Unless I missed it, no one has mentioned Diner. This movie has so much to say about what it means to sit down and eat with someone. Paul Reiser to Steve Guttenberg: "You've got roast beef in your heart that just stays there".

                                                                                                          Strangely enough, after seeing Oldboy, I had a craving for dumplings. Kind of like a friend of my wife who was telling me that, after seeing SuperSizeMe, she had to have a Big Mac.

                                                                                                          1. In th Mood for Love--
                                                                                                            Not overtly about food but a lot of great scenes occur over a bowl of noodles or in a resto. Come to think of it, all of Wong Kar Kai's movies naturally incorporate eating in important scenes. Chungking Express, Fallen Angel, Happy Together.

                                                                                                            US movies rarely have good food scenes (except for the occasional Scorsese movie like the scene in Goodfellas where they cook pasta in prision). As if eating is not really an important part of daily American life. It is sad.

                                                                                                            Other favorites mentioned earlier:
                                                                                                            Eat, Drink, Man, Woman
                                                                                                            Like Water for Chocolate
                                                                                                            Big Night

                                                                                                            1. I would definately have to add Under The Tuscan Sun!! She's cook quit a bit in this movie, and it all looks delicious!

                                                                                                              1. Soul Food.

                                                                                                                Big Night is of course the classic, but the cooking scenes in Soul Food make me starving.

                                                                                                                1. I know this comes in a little late after your initial posting, but I've just discovered Chow.com via a google request whilst soaking up the sun in my Aussie living room.

                                                                                                                  What about Woman on Top? Never been a fan of Penelope Cruz, but this little film was delightful and the soundtrack I play at least twice a week.

                                                                                                                  Books? If you're interested:
                                                                                                                  Lunch With Elizabeth David (can't remember the author but it's a fictional account of Elizabeth David in the 1940/50's)
                                                                                                                  Love Takes You Home - Julie Capaldi
                                                                                                                  Under The Olive Tree - Manuel Darling-Gansser
                                                                                                                  Salute - Gail&Kevin Donovan and Simon Griffiths
                                                                                                                  Blessed Are The Cheesemakers - Sarah-Kate Lynch
                                                                                                                  The Faux Gourmet - Juli I Huss
                                                                                                                  love him or hate him, Anthony Bourdain always amuses on some level

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: missbonnie99

                                                                                                                    Big Night (of course) - fabulous all around, from the food to the perfomances. A must-see for any chowhound.

                                                                                                                    Eat Drink Man Woman and the American-remake Tortilla Soup. - I'm typically starving after watching either plus I love the relationships between the sisters.

                                                                                                                    What's Cooking - I love watching this with my family after a holiday meal; everyone seems to enjoy it and can relate to the characters.

                                                                                                                    I agree with the above poster about the food in the Joy Luck Club but that movie also makes me cry so hard that I forget the food by the end.

                                                                                                                    I also have a soft spot for Dinner With Friends starring Andie McDowell and Dennis Quaid.

                                                                                                                  2. The noodle scene, with Robin Williams and Amanda Plummer, in The Fisher King
                                                                                                                    is hilarious.

                                                                                                                    Babette's Feast rules over all others. Also in this first tier: Cocolat, Big Night (been
                                                                                                                    trying to make that timpano for years), Like Water for Chocolate, Eat Drink (and Tortilla Soup). Not as much but still wonderful: Dinner Rush, Mostly Martha, Oliver.

                                                                                                                    Pan's Labyrinth has a pretty incredible food scene, and I've never seen anyone eat more
                                                                                                                    freely and elegantly than Laurence Olivier eating breakfast in his hotel room in Rebecca.

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: maria lorraine

                                                                                                                      There are just a few noodle scenes that do justice to noodles. In Tampopo, the only one that slurped the noodles the way they were supposed to be consumed was Goro's sidekick. Robin Williams did it OK but he was trying to be funny.
                                                                                                                      The scene in Tsukiji in Black rain. Michael Douglas should have taken a lesson from his Japanese partner.

                                                                                                                    2. Discussing french fires in PULP FICTION and of course "SOMEONE IS KILLING THE GREAT CHEFS OF EUROPE...

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: servpro8912


                                                                                                                        Tampopo (Japanese) - still makes me want to go slurp down some ramen!
                                                                                                                        Eat Drink Man Woman (Chinese)
                                                                                                                        The Scent of Green Papaya (Vietnamese)
                                                                                                                        Babette's Feast (Danish)
                                                                                                                        Bread and Tulips (Italian)- on second thought, I haven't seen this in a while.. maybe it doesn't center around food?

                                                                                                                        TV SHOWS:

                                                                                                                        Dotchi! - where else can you get a food game show/reality TV/ cooking show mixed into one ball of fun and mouth-watering genius? If you haven't caught this already, please do soon since it will be ending in the next couple of months. It comes on channel 18/ Asian Am TV every Sat. night.

                                                                                                                      2. So agree with newbatgirl about The Joy Luck Club, scenes with food and her books do better descriptive of food yet.
                                                                                                                        Sort of a silly movie but cute, was Last Holiday. I really enjoyed the food scenes in that movie.

                                                                                                                        1. My favorite is "Babette's Feast"...Also like "Big Night", "Eat Drink Man Woman", and "The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, Her Lover"....

                                                                                                                          1. Chocolat was such a beautiful movie, fabulous acting as well (Johnny Depp, Alfred Molina, and Juliette Binoche)

                                                                                                                            1. Soul Food, just looking at all those dumplings, fried cat fish, chicken.
                                                                                                                              Like Water for chocolate
                                                                                                                              Joy Luck Club have to have chinese food while watching that movie
                                                                                                                              Mystic Pizza.

                                                                                                                              1. I adore Tampopo, especially the scene in the supermarket with the elderly woman, who plies her fetish by suggestively squeezing fruit for ripeness.

                                                                                                                                I also love Mon Oncle, starring Jacques Tati. In the midst of conducting pranks on unsuspecting pedestrians, young Gerard and his friends feast on either pain perdu or tartines. Mmm...grilled bready confections, laden with powder sugar and confiture! Here's a link to the scene on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5Sg0G...

                                                                                                                                1. 1) Tampopo
                                                                                                                                  2)Big Night
                                                                                                                                  4)Green Card - the scene where Gerard Depardeau reviles Andie McDowell's attempt at trying to persuade him on what coffee is - he in turn shows her what coffee is to the French - espresso... This was life-altering to me - "what the hell is the deal with this espresso stuff?" was my thought as I sat in the movie theatre...

                                                                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                                                                  1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                                                                                    Bulavinaka, your post reminded me of another scene featuring coffee. Jean Luc Godard's "Two or Three Things I Know About Her" has a beautiful close up shot of a whirling vortex within a cup of espresso.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: beaudrillard

                                                                                                                                      Beau, I guess chalk it up to the mystical magical allure of espresso... I'll have to seek out your movie mention some time - just looked it up on imbd and it sounds interesting and engaging... Upon seeking espresso out after seeing the movie (1990-preCoffeeMadness in LA), and trying a precious little cup for the first time, I didn't get it at first because instead of sitting and savoring it, I stood and drank it like coffee. I still don't drink espresso neat often, but my favorite drink is a marriage of Depardeau"s and McDowell's character. A simple Americano...

                                                                                                                                  2. A movie that may become one of the classic "food movies" is called "Waitress" starring Kerry Russell. It's a small independent movie by a woman who was killed in New York. In the movie, Kerry Russell's character works at a diner as a waitress and she bakes these great looking pies with these funny weird names to represent her current situation. The filming of the pie-making is very luxurious and makes you want to bake a pie day and night. It has a great ensemble cast such as Cheryl Hines as another waitress. It's in theatres now and is a small movie that I feel should get some support.

                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                    1. re: singleguychef

                                                                                                                                      Singleguychef, I had totally forgotten about "Waitress." I am posting late. The Christmas after it came out on dvd, I gave it to several people as Christmas presents. Great movie!

                                                                                                                                    2. there's a glaring omission here i'm happy to be able to pointout.
                                                                                                                                      BIG EDEN a beautifully romanticized love story set in montana
                                                                                                                                      with food acting as it often does as a conveyer of love.
                                                                                                                                      A MUST SEE MOVIE

                                                                                                                                      1. I love Tortilla Soup
                                                                                                                                        The scene in Stranger than fiction when Will Farrell brings Maggie Gylenhaal the "flours" - so romantic!
                                                                                                                                        Pieces of April - the turkey!!
                                                                                                                                        Fried Green Tomatoes - the secret's in the sauce. - the book has great recipes.
                                                                                                                                        The scene in Made where John Favreau makes pasta Puttanesca for the little girl.
                                                                                                                                        Meg Ryan's description of pears in city of angels
                                                                                                                                        GoodFellas - the garlic prison scene, and the salami smuggling

                                                                                                                                        1. Perhaps because it's so recent, or perhaps because it's not live-action, no one has mentioned Ratatouille.

                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                          1. re: Discoethan

                                                                                                                                            Ratatouille here. I loved it and so did my SO.

                                                                                                                                          2. Ratatouille confused me a bit, in terms of its intended target market. I loved it. I'm not mad for the dish, but the animated version had me salivating. And what foodie has not found his-/herself in Remy's position, dealing with an unsympathetic crowd?

                                                                                                                                            Kudos to the one above who nominated Eating Raoul! Well done!

                                                                                                                                            So-so film, not about food, but there is a bizarre restaurant scene in The Mad Detective, in which a detective tries to get into the mindset of a suspect by eating his menu choices, repeatedly.

                                                                                                                                            1. Big Night
                                                                                                                                              Soul Food

                                                                                                                                              I also want to mention "The Age of Innocence". It's not about food, but in many of the dining scenes, there is such artful presentation of the meals. YOu can see the care that went into just carving a chicken in those days.

                                                                                                                                              1. Just discovering Japanese TV series these days:
                                                                                                                                                "Kui Tan" - a comedy series about a detective who loves to eat. There are so many scenes of food and of eating. He solves cases by his discerning taste buds and his understanding of food. There are many close ups of food and food preparation, for example, how a sushi chef prepares the sushi differently (and the logic behind it) depending on whether it's to be eaten in front of him, or for take out.

                                                                                                                                                Even though it's somewhat goofy at times, his passion and joy for eating is contagious, and so is his appreciative manner of giving thanks for the food...and of course, the carrying of his own special chopsticks in his suit pocket!

                                                                                                                                                1. "I'd like two fried chickens ....and some dry white toast...and a coke..."

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                                                                                                                                                  1. re: fussycouple

                                                                                                                                                    Mrs. Murphy: Help you two?
                                                                                                                                                    Elwood: Do you have any white bread ma'am?
                                                                                                                                                    Mrs. Murphy: Yeah.
                                                                                                                                                    Elwood: I'll have some toasted white bread please.
                                                                                                                                                    Mrs. Murphy: You want butter or jam on that, honey?
                                                                                                                                                    Elwood: No ma'am, dry.
                                                                                                                                                    Jake: Do you have any fried chicken ma'am?
                                                                                                                                                    Mrs. Murphy: Best damned chicken in the state.
                                                                                                                                                    Jake: Bring me four fried chickens and a Coke.
                                                                                                                                                    Mrs. Murphy: You want chicken wings or chicken legs?
                                                                                                                                                    Jake: Four fried chickens and a Coke.
                                                                                                                                                    Elwood: And some dry white toast please.
                                                                                                                                                    Mrs. Murphy: Ya'all want anything to drink with that?
                                                                                                                                                    Elwood: No ma'am.
                                                                                                                                                    Jake: A Coke.
                                                                                                                                                    Mrs. Murphy: Be right back.

                                                                                                                                                  2. The Cook the Thief His Wife & Her Lover

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                                                                                                                                                    1. re: tvr172

                                                                                                                                                      oh, that's an awesome one! I forgot how much I loved that film...

                                                                                                                                                    2. [at the campfire]
                                                                                                                                                      Lyle: How 'bout more beans, Mr. Taggart?
                                                                                                                                                      Taggart: [fans his hat in the air] I'd say you had enough!

                                                                                                                                                      1. My new favorite is Ratatouille! so cute... and how can you dislike the scenery? the Eiffel Tower keeps popping up all over the place.

                                                                                                                                                        1. I dearly loved Ratatouille, and would watch it again and again and again !!!

                                                                                                                                                          Yay for the Rare Birds mention !!! Such an excellent movie, and for anyone who thought The Shipping News was a great movie set in Newfoundland (as it made several fellow newfoundlanders cringe in many ways~and i'm a huge fan of many of the actors in that one) again, yay for rare birds ! hehe.

                                                                                                                                                          Like Water for Chocolate
                                                                                                                                                          Under the Tuscan Sun (which is not totally about food...but i love how she cooks her way through her heartache and fills her house this way....especially after the "i have a house for a life I don't have" comment)
                                                                                                                                                          Again not about food, but i love the blue soup scene in Bridget Jones' Diary
                                                                                                                                                          Loved "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"

                                                                                                                                                          Last Holiday and Moonstruck worth a mention...and i have to say , i enjoyed Spanglish ( became an even bigger fan of Adam Sandler with Reign over Me)

                                                                                                                                                          I love the food in "marie antoinette"....and the spagetti scene in "lady and the tramp"

                                                                                                                                                          Do drink movies count? then "Sideways"

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                                                                                                                                                          1. Has no one seen Stephen Chow's God of Cookery?!?!! By far the best food film for me!

                                                                                                                                                            Funny some one mentioned Harold and Kumar!

                                                                                                                                                            The Spanglish DVD has a great extra feature with Chef Keller and Adam Sandler making the 'best' sandwich.

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                                                                                                                                                            1. re: s0memale

                                                                                                                                                              God of Cookery is probably the only foodie movie to beat Big Night on my list!

                                                                                                                                                            2. Yes, to MANY of the above...
                                                                                                                                                              Water for Chocolate
                                                                                                                                                              Eat Drink Man Woman
                                                                                                                                                              Big Night
                                                                                                                                                              Under the Tuscan Sun
                                                                                                                                                              Greek Wedding
                                                                                                                                                              and one that i haven't seen mentioned.......
                                                                                                                                                              Home for the Holidays (Holly Hunter & Robert Downey Jr.)
                                                                                                                                                              the scene where the father breaks into the pie in the middle of the night is classic!

                                                                                                                                                              1. all my faves have been mentioned , but i thought id throw in this tidbit-

                                                                                                                                                                BBC did some reworked shakespeare plays kept the story line basically, but not the dialogue...

                                                                                                                                                                the Macbeth was set in a michalin 3 star restaurant, with duncan being the celeb chef, but macbeth being the real chef de cuisine.... really well done

                                                                                                                                                                  1. I was a Tampopo virgin until last night. OMG..I loved this movie. I was so wanting a big hot bowl of noodles, a raw egg yolk, to bonk Iron chef Morimoto in a cowboy-like hat, and some Shabu-Shabu. I also laughed alot. So many scenes I loved..so much to say. I am watching it again today..with my husband.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. Well...it's late to post but I am a newbie. I like all the movies mentioned...LOVED:

                                                                                                                                                                      Big Night
                                                                                                                                                                      Babett's Feast
                                                                                                                                                                      The Wedding Banquet
                                                                                                                                                                      Like Water...etc

                                                                                                                                                                      But no one mentioned...
                                                                                                                                                                      People Soup! or
                                                                                                                                                                      My Dinner With Andre!

                                                                                                                                                                      1. Not a movie, but a short series: Fishing With John.

                                                                                                                                                                        Adventures of John Lurie (who knows nothing about fishing) and his friends (Willem Dafoe, Dennis Hopper, Jim Jarmusch, Tom Waits, Matt Dillon), traveling around the world, fishing (or most of the time not-fishing). Hilariously weird, weirdly hilarious.

                                                                                                                                                                        1. My favorite food movies:
                                                                                                                                                                          The Big Night
                                                                                                                                                                          Mostly Martha
                                                                                                                                                                          Dinner Rush
                                                                                                                                                                          Tortilla Soup
                                                                                                                                                                          Like Water for Chocolate
                                                                                                                                                                          Babette's Feast
                                                                                                                                                                          Bread and Tulips
                                                                                                                                                                          What's Cooking
                                                                                                                                                                          Eat Drink Man Woman

                                                                                                                                                                          1. No one has mentioned "Autumn in New York" (2000) and I'm not surprised. It's a mediocre tearjerker. (Though if you LIKE tearjerkers, you should watch it.... and take a whole box of Kleenex.) But its plot marked a Chowhound watershed. Richard Gere plays a rich celebrity who moves in the highest social circles... but falls in love with an impoverished young recluse. Now 70 years ago, the rich socialite would have inherited his wealth, as in Philadelphia Story. 25 years ago he would have been a self-made CEO of the biggest company. But in this film, the rich and famous Richard Gere character was... a CHEF! A career in food had suddenly reached the top rank in social status.

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                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Brian S

                                                                                                                                                                              The TV series, Gilmore Girls isn't a movie but often the show is focused/surrounded by food and lots of it espcially when Sookie is on.

                                                                                                                                                                            2. Not really a movie about food but does anyone remember an old spaghetti western comedy about a super fast gunfighter. Early on in the movie there is a scene where his family sits down for dinner and after grace they plow into their food at lightnening speed... grabbing and competing for all the food on the table. I'm guessing (its about a 35 year old memory) that the entire meal lasted less than a minute. The implication was that he was such a fast draw because of his family's table manners. I might just want to rent it if I could remember the title of the film. I thought it was pretty funny as a kid.

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                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: garfish

                                                                                                                                                                                i just discovered this thread tonight, so this is a late post. if you're still looking for the name of that movie, it sounds to me like 'they call me trinity'. hilarious movie. of the food movies i've seen so far, my votes (like many here) go to 'eat drink man woman' and 'babette's feast'.

                                                                                                                                                                              2. An update in 2008:

                                                                                                                                                                                The Korean movie "Le Grand Chef" is a comedy about dueling chefs.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. Def Chocolat - chocolate and Johny Depp, set in France - whats not to like??!

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. 1. Eat Drink Man Woman
                                                                                                                                                                                    2. Ratatouille
                                                                                                                                                                                    3. And just because they're delightful, though not appetizing: Delicatessen and Titus (by Taymor)

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. No reservations (the movie w/ Catherin Zeta Jones and Aaron Eckhart)

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                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: AngelSanctuary

                                                                                                                                                                                        Love it, too!! I love when he gets the girl to eat pasta.

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jessicheese

                                                                                                                                                                                          I like that scene, too -- it's sweetly gratifying -- but it's done with more humor and strategy in "Mostly Martha." That scene and the "blindfold" one are the two best scenes in MM. "No Reservations" -- at least IMO -- was clearly the inferior of the two versions of that story. Though I do love that Patricia Clarkson.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. http://www.blockbuster.com/browse/cat...

                                                                                                                                                                                        Just rented My Blueberry Nights. Quirky independent film with an interesting cast. Waitress on a journey. Love blueberry pie!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. The Waitress about: love, motherhood and pie. A hoot.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Do "Silence of the Lambs" and "Hannibal" count?

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. has anyone mentioned 'flavor of happiness'?

                                                                                                                                                                                              *flavoUUUUUUUUUUr :)

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Like Water for Chocolate, of course.
                                                                                                                                                                                                Defending Your Life. The recently deceased discover they're 'on trial' for their most recent life, but while they're in Judgement City they can eat all they want without heartburn, other intestinal upset, or gaining weight.

                                                                                                                                                                                                Scenes of cheese omelet and sausage, pounds of pasta, platters of shrimp, ice cream cones, whole roast chicken, sushi.

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Here's a new one, recently released: The Ramen Girl (w/Brittany Murphy).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: OCAnn

                                                                                                                                                                                                    having seen Flavour of Happiness twice [on the plane] i couldn't stomach Ramen Girl omg... :( especially the actress [saw RG when i got home].

                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Pata_Negra

                                                                                                                                                                                                      You clearly weren't watching it in the right frame of mind. This definitely falls into the so-bad-it's-AWESOME category. Or would, if it didn't stop being so damned funny towards the end and play it straight for the sincerity. And it was sorely lacking a cheesily romantic karaoke scene - I can't BELIEVE they passed up that opportunity. Sometimes, you just need something mindlessly, laughably bad, and Ramen Girl is almost PERFECT for it.


                                                                                                                                                                                                      Perfection requires karaoke.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. The noodle making scene in Iron Monkey is pretty cool.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I can't believe no one mentioned "Heartburn" in this list. Or did I miss it?

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. all my favorites are here, and I've heard of some I want to rent now, thanks to all.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        One food scene I always remember (especially when eating tourtiere!) is the final meal in Titus Andronicus... not intended to have been a "food" movie, but history will out...

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. We just watched The King of California. No direct food porn shot but a major commentary on fast food and chain restaurants. Michael Douglas looking at Applebee's: "Know why these places are so popular? Because people are afraid to try something new" The scenes in Mickey Dee's are priceless. A real social comment on modern American (Californian?) suburban life. Costco plays a major role. A fun film.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. recent flicks include:
                                                                                                                                                                                                            No reservations (movie was so-so but food scenes were decent - catherine zeta jones)

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Older flicks:
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Big Night
                                                                                                                                                                                                            9 1/2 weeks
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Tampopo is old but recall it - enjoy the noodle scenes
                                                                                                                                                                                                            The Thief, His Wife and Her Love
                                                                                                                                                                                                            Like Water For Chocolate

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Just saw on the plane New in Town w/ Rene Zellwiger. Lousy film but tapioca and meat loaf play major roles.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Would like to add "Kung Fu Panda" to the list, because it makes me crave dumplings EVERY time I see it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Ratatouille - just soemthing about a rat that cooks....

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Waiting to Exhale ( I loved the family dinner and how no matter how mad they were at each other the food still brought them together!)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Last Holiday - how even butter is good in moderation!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Big Night - just love Tony Shalhoub

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  My Big Fat Greek Wedding - The passion for the food and Ouzo is amazing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Oh, and I've just got to mention the Christmas Eve dinner in "Christmas Vacation." Every time I see that turkey burst open I about split a gut laughing! And green jello with cat food in it -- bwaa ha ha ha!!! "It's gooo-ood, Clark!"

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. 1) Babette's Feast
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2) Big Eden
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      3) Tampopo
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      4) Big Night
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      5) Nina's Heavenly Delights

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I dont wanna think of how many times I've rewatched these movies.....

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: rozz01

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Just finished watching The Tin Drum (1979). I hdn't realized what a Chowhound the supposed father was. Eel stew, yum.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. I have to go with Like Water for Chocolate. I don't speak Spanish yet this movie speaks to a universal audience. Love love love it.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: chef2chef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1) Ratatouille
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2) Spanglish
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3) Thee Goodfellas
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            4) ....


                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. The Linguini Incident

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Nobody has mentioned it yet - WOW

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              This past weekend I discovered I had the videotape of this movie in my basement, still in the shrink wrap. I watched it Sunday afternoon and while it was funny, and it did take place in a terminally trendy restaurant, there was really nothing having to do with food in the whole thing. There was scene with the waitresses eating early on, and a couple of gratuitous mentions of things like "Cleavage Caviar". The "Linguini Incident" of the title is only mentioned once and never really explained.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              On the other hand, one of the restaurant owners was also in "My Dinner With Andre".

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. Not a feature film but my younger son has been playing and replaying "The Oatmeal Song" video from You Tube for a few days now and I can't get the song out of my head:

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: HillJ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                as a chef, and a human, i literally cried twice during this, while on a plane from bangkok to seattle. once as achef, once as a human ;-) this movie is amazing. peace

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. One of my most recent favorites (and a surprise foodie movie to boot), was Tai Chi Hero (2012), a martial arts/steam-punk mash-up that features a final fight above palace chefs preparing a sumptuous banquet. The dishes on display are as exciting as the action above them -- particularly what appeared to be a braised carp, where the fish is passed through hot oil for a more luxuriant texture. I've posted more detail on this dish and the film here: http://cinefoodie.com/the-best-chines..., but other somewhat recent favorites include Haute Cuisine and The Fruit Hunters.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: cinefoodie

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I can't wait to see this movie! In my Netflix cue right now.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. John Waters' "Pink Flamingos", 1972.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Today's Special is a cute and heartwarming comedy about a fine dining chef taking over his father's failing Indian restaurant. It's a real hidden gem, and I believe it's on Netflix instant stream.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. For those of us with cable, Turner Classic Movies "Friday Night Spotlight" is "Food in the Movies."

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      This Friday it's Babette's Feast, followed by Big Night.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I will think of you all when I watch this Friday (or whenever I watch them as I plan to record both).

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. I just saw "The Lunchbox" in the theater.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        A housewife is tries to spice up her marriage through her cooking. She prepares a special lunchbox to be delivered to him at work, but, unbeknownst to her, it is mistakenly delivered to another office worker,

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: GraydonCarter

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I saw this last week and it was fantastic. That lunch delivery system was fascinating in and of itself and the acting (especially given the lack of interaction between the leads) was impressive. There's another thread on "Chef" on this board on which I remarked that "The Lunchbox" has become my new favorite food movie.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Jon Favreau has a new movie coming out called "The Chef." Looks interesting, he plays a chef who quits to open a food truck, sounds inspired by the Kogi truck to me.

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: singleguychef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Long thread about the movie here:


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It was a VERY good movie - I enjoyed it a lot (and will buy it on DVD when it comes out).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: singleguychef

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I loved this movie. And it had the added bonus of a great soundtrack.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Adding a new favorite which came out after the last post to this thread: "The Hundred Foot Journey". It managed to poke fun at classical French cooking AND Indian cooking yet still make you yearn for the best of both. Plus I thought it was a sweet statement on the immigrant experience. And bonus points for beautiful French countryside scenery and market scenes. Going with DH (who is from India) enriched the experience...there are a few scenes where Papa comments under his breath in Hindi, and his comments are not subtitled. DH translated, and a couple were zingers. OTOH, I like it when films where the story line would require several languages to be spoken don't translate every word...it feels more real and gives you a feel for what the characters are going through. The film did the same thing with French a few times. But go to see the food scenes. I am craving sea urchin, and you will too!