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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
          c
          curiousbaker

          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
              j
              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!