Food and movies go together like, well, popcorn and movies! Since food is a central theme in life, it makes sense that it should take center stage in the cinema and there have been some great films which include the feasts of the table. So grab yourself a snack and let’s take a look at some memorable scenes from movies…..
Animal House (1978)
Who doesn’t remember the food fight scene? What better way to thumb your nose at table manners than by turning your lunch into projectiles? Of course, you’ll be hungry for the rest of the afternoon … The food fight scene in the cafeteria actually only lasts three seconds, but John Belushi cemented his comic stardom in the scene preceding it as he stuffs an entire hamburger into his mouth, slurps Jello off of a plate and regales a table of fellow classmates with his impression of a zit.
Young Frankenstein (1974)
There are actually a couple of food scenes in this movie, but my favorite is the scene with The Monster and Gene Hackman as the blind man, which he supposedly did mostly ad lib…and a great job at that. From pouring hot soup into The Monster’s lap, to breaking his wine mug and lighting his thumb on fire, this for me, is the ultimate scene in the movie. After all the Monster goes through, he goes crashing through the door, thoroughly frustrated. With that, Gene Hackman comes to the door and says, ‘Wait, where are you going? I was going to make espresso!’
American Pie (1999)
What could be worse that a teenage boy being caught with his pants down (literally) than being caught with your pants down and um, how shall we say, satisfying himself with a warm apple pie and being caught by his father? To paraphrase Janeane Garofalo, you can love your food, but you shouldn’t love your food. ‘Nuff said.
It may be a cliché that Italians love to eat, but hey, who doesn’t? Martin Scorsese’s classic about life in the mob has as much tomato sauce as it does blood, and the food is as appealing as the violence is disturbing. Even on their way to re-bury a months-old corpse–a task that might make some of us lose our appetites–Jimmy Conway and his crew can’t turn down a midnight snack prepared by Tommy’s mom (played by Scorsese’s real life mom). Mangiare!
Pretty Woman (1991)
The Cinderella story: poor girl meets rich boy and fall in love. Along the way he shows her the good life including dining at an exclusive restaurant for a business dinner. They are served canapes, sorbet and of course, escargot. In trying to figure out how to eat them, Vivian attempts to pry the snail out of its shell, hurling it across the room and into the hands of the waiter standing by. Slippery little suckers.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001), et al
Imagine being a young wizard of 11 and sitting at a huge table with all your other junior wizard classmates for the first time, in a huge room with lit candles floating above you. Now imagine the head teacher announcing the feast to begin; he claps his hands and as if by magic the table is suddenly covered with more plates of food than you can shake a wand at. What I want to know is this: Who’s doing the washing up?
Adam and Barbara Maitland are dead, haunting this house that used to belong to them. Here, the new tenants are having an innocent dinner party. The uninvited guests, er, ghosts, don’t like that one bit and plan on scaring them out the front door…with the help of Harry Belafonte singing The Banana Boat song. Funniest scene in the movie…well at least I think so.
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe (1991)
At the Whistle Stop Café, Ruth barbecues the body of her abusive, Ku Klux Klannin’ husband, murdered to protect a baby. When a cop who’s hunting the killer arrives on the scene, he is invited to partake of the meal, unaware he himself is eating the evidence. The secret’s in the sauce!
I know this isn’t a complete list, but it’s a listing of movies that I’ve seen and enjoy. I didn’t want to list movies that I didn’t know about as I felt I couldn’t give a proper objective on them.
So what movie food scenes would you add to the list?