We all love watching food preparation. We love watching foodies talk about food. We love watching people eat beautifully presented food. That's been proven with the Top Chef franchise, the Food Network, the Cooking Channel, and the hundreds of food apps, meet-ups, clubs, organizations, magazines and cookbooks. One thing that will never change is that we need to eat to live. Some of us, however, live to eat. And what makes food look better and even taste better than a good story to go along with it.
1. Babette's Feast (1987, G) Written by Karen Blixen, the same
author of Out of Africa, this one is a great story and features a feast
for the ages. Babette is the French chef and maid to a pair of Danish
sisters who have dedicated their lives to service. The anniversary of
their father's 100th birthday is the perfect time to let their foreign
maid cook for their guests. Oh the French...they are gastronomic
2. The Ramen Girl (2008, PG-13) Toshiyuki Nishida makes the ramen, but the late Brittany Murphy just makes this movie work. Also see Tampopo which is even more entertaining.
3. The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover (1989, NC-17)
This is not one for the kiddos. It's a rich, colorful, disturbing and
glorious movie. A story that must be watched more than once to uncover
new layers of meaning. Note the scene where love-making happens in a
truck full of raw meat. Yes.
4. Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011, PG) is a documentary about
85-year-old Jiro Ono and his small, exclusive sushi restaurant in Tokyo.
Known as a national treasure, Jiro shares his thoughts on life, love of
work, and plans for longevity. Glistening shots of beautifully crafted
sushi and sashimi.
5. ...And They Lived Happily Ever After (2004, UR) with
Charlotte Gainesbourg and Yvan Attal has a food fight scene in it that I
adore. This movie is about the ups and downs and ins and outs of love
and marriage. Charlotte Gainesbourg is one of my favorite actresses and
this scene must have been such fun since Yvan Attal is her husband in
real life as well. While the film isn't about food and doesn't feature
much food at all, this scene just looks like fun. Another favorite food
fight scene is in Whip It (2009, PG-13).
6. Eat, Pray, Love (2010, PG-13) I have to be honest. I hated this book. It should have been called, "A Woman Whines Her Way Through Three Countries." The movie's only redeeming quality was the portion shot in Italy. The pasta, the pizza, the gelato, the scenery, and Julia Roberts trying to desperately squeeze her way into a pair of too-tight jeans. And...scene.
7. Waitress (2007, PG-13) This film, written, directed by, and starring the late Adrienne Shelley is all about love...and pie. Don't miss seeing a grumpy Andy Griffith, a hilarious Cheryl Hines, a handsome Nathan Fillion, and a simply beautiful Kerri Russell.
8. Simply Irresistible (1999, PG-13) This is simply adorable. Sarah Michelle Gellar owns a failing restaurant in Greenwich Village. With the help of a magical crab she becomes and overnight success and finds love as well. Must. Get. Eclairs. Also Patricia Clarkson is hilarious in this.
9. Big Night (1996, R) Watch this. That is all.
10. Tortilla Soup (2001, PG-13) Hector Elizondo is a master chef who has lost his sense of taste. His three daughters spice things up a bit in their search for love, freedom, and success. A family dinner is the place where problems get solved. The food is the key. And boy is it ever. This movie meal will have you craving cuisine from south of the border.