With the colder weather well on its way up here in the Northeast, The Angry Chef and I will likely be spending more evenings curled up on the couch in front of the tube. (Buttered popcorn and toasty drinks in hand.)
We’re more apt to pop in a DVD then channel surf these days, so I thought I’d put together a list of movies where food plays a starring role. I wasn’t sure how many I’d find. Turns out, I came up with 50.
Before we get to the big list, here are five that are near and dear to my heart.
My top five food movies
I know, it’s on the top of so many food-movie lists. But there’s a reason. So many folks I know just love this one.
Directed by Ang Lee, the movie tells the tale of a master chef, his three daughters, and their love lives. The scenes with his kitchen in Taipei and the family’s elaborate Sunday dinner ritual are absolutely enchanting.
I first saw it at a little indie theater years ago, and it’s still one of my favorite movies today. If I get my way, someday, I’ll have an indoor/outdoor kitchen like old Chu has (not very practical for the weather here in Salem, but a girl can dream).
Here, take a look at what I mean. A word of warning: It’s subtitled.
No offense to Johnny Depp, but the 1971 Gene Wilder version of Wonka beats the pants off of the 2005 remake.
I grew up with this one—and the magical Roald Dahl book that inspired the film. Here’s the original trailer.
A woman and her daughter open a chocolate shop in a stodgy French village right before Lent—much to the chagrin of the prim and proper townsfolk.
I’m not sure, but I think that this may be when I first got it into my head to grind my own hot chocolate mix from cacao beans.
I have three words for you: Japanese Noodle Western. For that phrase alone, you should see this flick if you haven’t. Juzo Itami’s 1985 film has become something of a cult classic.
It’s the story of a widowed noodle chef and her adventures setting up a ramen shop with the help of a truck driver. This one is also subtitled (and full of sex).
Here’s the original trailer. (I couldn’t find it with subtitles, but you’ll get the picture.)
Plus the scene with the noodle master (which does have subtitles):
Last but not least, a movie about a rat who’s a seriously good cook. (For a food movie starring a bona fide mouse, check out the Tale of Despereaux, about a brave little mouse and a kingdom’s epic love of soup.)
Here’s an extended trailer:
50 Movies for Foodies
So that’s my top five list, but there are a ton of great movies that have food—or eating—as a main ingredient. Here are 50.
Some I’ve seen, some are still on my list. They range from comedy to drama, and from chocolate to cannibalism—with just about everything in between.
- Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
- Babette’s Feast
- Bad Taste
- Big Night
- The Chinese Feast
- Chungking Express
- Comfort and Joy
- The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover
- Dinner Rush
- Eat Drink Man Woman
- Eating Raoul
- Eat Your Heart Out
- Fast Food Nation
- Fried Green Tomatoes
- God of Cookery
- How Tasty Was My Little Frenchman
- James and the Giant Peach
- The Last Supper (directed by Stacy Title)
- The Last Supper (directed by Osamu Fukutani)
- Le Grande Bouffe
- Like Water for Chocolate
- My Dinner with Andre
- Mostly Martha
- My Big Fat Greek Wedding
- Mystic Pizza
- Nina’s Heavenly Delights
- No Reservations
- The Orange Thief
- The Ramen Girl
- The Scent of Green Papaya
- Soul Food
- Super Size Me
- The Tale of Despereaux
- Tortilla Soup
- The Wedding Banquet
- What’s Cooking
- When Do We Eat?
- Who is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?
- Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
- Woman on Top
Oh, and Julie & Julia, of course.
What are your favorite food movies?
Leave a comment and let me know! Did I hit them on the list above? Am I missing one?
Oh, and what about your favorite movie scene featuring food?
I can tell you mine, and it’s not from food-themed movie. (Though that opening sequence in Eat Drink Man Woman is close.) It’s the Lady and the Tramp spaghetti scene. Call me a softie, but it’s the truth.