Food: It can be sexy. It can be seductive. It can be poignant. It can be dangerous. And god knows – it can be delicious! Instead of salivating over the Cooking Channel, pull out one of these culinary cinematic adventures (both oldies but goodies and new and noteworthies), grab a loved one, a good glass of vino, some popcorn (don’t tell your dentist), and make it a night at the movies for your inner foodie. Or Host a Girls’ Night In!
1. Chocolat: Mix together a small French village, a little gypsy blood, a secret recipe for magical chocolate confections and one Johnny Depp and what do you get? Chocolat – a heartwarming story about a town’s reawakening and a woman’s journey to make peace with her daughter and her own restless spirit.
2. Sideways: Two loveable losers set off for a trip through the Santa Ynez Valley in California wine country. They find life lessons on the road, in the bottle and from a very stout motorcycle helmet whap upside to the head. Funny and unassuming, this intelligent film will appeal to wine lovers and just plain lovers alike.
3. Big Night: Winner of the “Grand Jury Prize” at Sundance Film Festival, this movie tells the charming story of two Italian brothers who are trying to run a restaurant with two different ideas of how to do so. After putting all their hopes (and a pile of cash) into throwing a huge party for a celebrity jazz singer who is coming to town, things don’t quite work out as expected. In the end, however, the quarreling family sits down together as always at a shared table. Pass the omelet!
4. Julie & Julia: This recent hit highlights the life and cooking of the famous Julia Child and one of her biggest admirers, modern-day Julie, who blogs about her personal challenge to create every recipe in the Child’s famous cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Meryl Streep plays a convincing Julia Child whose passion for food and indeed life shines throughout the entire film.
5. Waiting: Anyone who loves to eat out needs to watch Waiting, a jaw-dropping and hilarious film whose disturbing portrayal of the serving industry behind the scenes is unfortunately spot-on. Ryan Reynolds, Justin Long and Anna Faris star in this R-rated flick that teaches its viewers once and for all that you really shouldn’t be a jerk to the person serving you food.
6. Like Water for Chocolate: Behold the power of food! Withheld from the passions of her one true love, Tita puts all of her emotion into the dishes she cooks – and the results send her dinner guests running to the bedroom for lovin’ and sometimes spontaneously combusting! A gripping affair, Like Water for Chocolate is one of the most popular Spanish-language films of all time.
7. Ratatouille: Named after the famous French vegetable dish, this animated film from Pixar stars a determined young rat that travels to Paris to become a gourmet chef. His plans don’t go over so well with the humans running the kitchen, but this Academy Award-winning movie finally reveals that anyone can learn to cook and even a rat’s dreams can come true.
8. No Reservations: Another recent flick and a rom-com for adults, No Reservations is the story of an ambitious chef Kate (Catherine Zeta-Jones) who rules her kitchen and her world with an iron fist – until a car accident leaves her the sole guardian of her niece Zoe. When an upstart sous-chef (Aaron Eckhart) shows up and starts competing for her cooking kingdom, things begin to fall apart for Kate – or was that falling in love?
9. Waitress: Jenna (Keri Russell) is a young and beautiful waitress in the deep South who is trapped in a lackluster marriage with an abusive jerk that keeps her under lock and key. Her only outlet is baking and serving her amazing pies at Joe’s Pie Diner, but when an unexpected pregnancy occurs, a hot young doctor shows up and Jenna’s dreams mount – things begin to get a little interesting. You’ll be rooting for Jenna through the whole story and might even burst into cheers at the end of this feel-good flick!
10. Eat Drink Man Woman: This Taiwanese film tells the story of three beautiful daughters and the necessity of romantic relationships through brilliant displays of gourmet Chinese cooking. As the daughters begin to find love and their roles in the family subsequently shift, their emotions are expressed through the delicate preparation of Sunday dinners. The 2001 film Tortilla Soup was a remake of this movie updated to a Latino family in Los Angeles.
image: Flashy Soup Can