9 Food Themed Movies to Make Your Mouth Water ...

By Neecey

There are many, many movies where key scenes are centered on food, but what about food themed movies? Movies where food is central to the plot, is the plot, or has the plot woven around it. Food is such a cornerstone of our culture (wherever we may live) that it’s no surprise writers weave magical tales about it, and filmmakers bring it to our cinema and TV screens. Here are some of my favorite food themed movies. Hope they’re to your taste (ahem!)

1 Julie and Julia

On iTunes at itunes.apple.com

How to turn a chick flick into a foodie feast? Send a disillusioned New Yorker on a journey to recreate the recipes of food icon Julia Child, that’s how. Based on two true-life memoirs, the plot intertwines the story of Julia Child’s entry into the world of Cordon Bleu cookery with Julie Powell’s attempts to make all of the recipes in Julia’s first book within a month, blogging her progress as she goes. The two stories are very cleverly woven thanks to similar parallels as the trials and tribulations of each woman unfold. The excellent cast of Meryl Streep (Julia) and Amy Adams (Julie) supported by Stanley Tucci (as Julia’s husband) and the clever plot, make this one of the most watchable food themed movies.

2 Babette’s Feast

On iTunes at itunes.apple.com

You may have heard of Karen Blixen as it is her story that is told in the wonderful movie, Out of Africa, (another Meryl Streep triumph!) but, did you know she also wrote the novel upon which Babette’s Feast was based? Acclaimed as one of the best movies with a food theme ever, it eceived the Oscar in 1988 for the Best Foreign Language Film. The plot is simple – exactly as it states in the title – but it is a beautiful story and is a wonderful insight into rural 19th Century Denmark.

3 Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

On iTunes at itunes.apple.com

So good they made it twice! I’ve gone for the original, because although I absolutely adore Johnny Depp, and I actually did enjoy Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, to me the original is the better movie. If I find myself singing oompa loompa songs (doop-bitty-doo!) they will always be from the original. Also, the original is definitely more attuned to food themed movies. The newer version doesn’t quite have the same depth of food scenes of the original. What do you get if you guzzle down sweets? Eating as much as an elephant eats?

4 Last Holiday

On iTunes at itunes.apple.com

Every so often a little gem of a movie comes along that you have low expectations of but you end up enjoying. I remember watching this when there was nothing else on and was drawn into what is a gentle story nicely played out by some great actors. The inclusion of Gérard Depardieu as the chef was always going to swing it for me anyway (who can resist that sexy accent and I’ve always had a thing for slightly odd, shabby men!) and the scenery is beautiful too; you might recognize the hotel Georgia stays in as the one used in Casino Royale. Food remains a theme throughout and nicely forms a cohesive thread throughout the plot, and even if there is a pretty formulaic will she, won’t she, will they, won’t they hook, it’s easy to appreciate the ending. But, you’ll have to watch it yourself to find out if the ending is happy or not.

5 Ratatouille

On iTunes at itunes.apple.com

When it came to animated movies with a food theme, I was torn between Cloudy with Meatballs and Ratatouille. My personal favorite of the two is actually Cloudy with Meatballs because it is so quirky and I was unexpectedly laughing way more than I imagined, but I knew that you’d all be clamoring to ask me why I hadn’t included Ratatouille. Ratatouille is undeniably fun. The plot is good, even if it’s about a cooking rat who teams up with a garbage boy, the culinary puns are excellent crafted, and it’s high on the watchability factor.

6 Eat Drink Man Woman

On iTunes at itunes.apple.com

Directed by Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Life of Pi) Eat Drink Man Woman is a lovely comedic, romantic drama centered on a senior hotel chef. He enjoys the regular ritual of a Sunday family dinner, preparing everything with a seasoning of love for his three daughters. The beloved weekly event becomes more and more complicated as the daughters start relationships and more guests appear at the dinner table, and we see how these relationships involve and change the lives of the whole family. If you can’t sit through a subtitled film, watch Tortilla Soup – it’s simply a remake in English.

7 Chocolat

On iTunes at itunes.apple.com

Food themed movies can answer the question of how to combine two passions in one delicious serving. Answer - watch Chocolat. I can happily overdose on Johnny Depp and chocolate. Stirring up hidden passions among the straight-laced residents of a post-war French provincial town, Juliet Binoche’s chocolate concoctions and Depp’s wild, abandoned gypsy music prove too much for the stuffed-shirt of a mayor (Alfred Molina). The chocolate weaves its magic as passions are unleashed, jealousies are aroused, and all manner of gentle havoc ensues.

8 Soylent Green

On iTunes at itunes.apple.com

Long before we grew concerned about GM foods, supersized meals, and the impact food production has on the ozone layer, Soylent Green gave us a whole other food issue not yet, thankfully, come to pass. In 2022, food is a scarce commodity. The food industry is searching for and developing alternatives to traditional foods. The only recourse open to them – human meat. Enough said!

9 Toast

On iTunes at itunes.apple.com

If you like your movies with a food theme to be completely food-centric, you’ll love toast. It’s very likely that you haven’t heard of Nigel Slater on whose memoirs Toast is based – he’s a British food writer and TV chef – but you’ll love his story. He’s a boy who dreamed of culinary delights while his mother feeds him an endless menu of canned food and toast. Dad’s no help either – he thinks spag bol is exotic. Then when mum dies, enter new housekeeper and soon to be Dad’s lover (in the comely shape of Helena Bonham Carter) who introduces all manner of dishes to the family menu. Nigel finds solace, first in school domestic science classes and then the kitchen of the local pub. This is a charming journey through the culinary scene of Britain in the 60s. It is funny and poignant and it’s easy to see why Nigel Slater is so passionate about his food today.

I love movies with a food theme. A number of my favorites aren’t listed here because they are foreign language films and I know not everyone enjoys watching subtitles. Japan, China and Mexico have made some brilliant food themed movies, so if you want to extend your movie palate, check them out. What movies would you have on your menu?

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