I don’t get to the theatre often. It’s a reality of my life, despite the fact I love theatre and film, and remain deeply connected to the local communities. My schedule just doesn’t support it.
But last night, I did get out to see Chef, and it made me think of all the other food movies I love, and I thought I’d share them with you.
Currently still in the theatres, Chef is a movie about… not shockingly… a chef! Jon Favreau writes, directs and stars in this piece about a man who is lost and finds himself in the kitchen. The film starts with Chef Carl in a place that most of us would consider to be professionally successful–running the kitchen of a restaurant. But the restaraunt isn’t his, and whenever he wants to spread his wings creatively, he gets kiboshed by the owner (played by Dustin Hoffman). A big critic comes, and pans the place, so Carl gets taught Twitter by his 10-year-old son and starts a flame war with the critic (played by Oliver Platt, whom I love in everything). The film is partly a case study of “what not to do on social media,” and there were a lot of laugh-out-loud moments. Carl leaves, or gets fired, and needs to start his life anew. He finds his passion in a food truck, and a cross-country drive with his son and his sous (John Leguizamo).
See it, see it, see it! This movie gives new meaning to the words “food porn.” There is one shot in particular of pork belly…. drool. As much as I love Sophia Vigara, who plays Carl’s love interest, I could have done without that particular plot point, but other than that, I really loved this film.
Going back a bit further to 2009, this is a film I can’t stop watching every time it comes on TV. First of all, it’s about a food blogger. Which I love. And it stars Amy Adams and Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci, all of whom I adore. Julie and Julia is the film based on the book by Julie Powell, and it’s a semi-autobiographical story. Julie Powell actually did write a blog about cooking her way through Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and I love how it weaves in Julia Child’s life and struggles as she tried to publish a cookbook that, it appeared, no one wanted. I love this one as a foodie and as a feminist, and as someone who regularly turns to Julia Child for cooking advice.
Interestingly, this movie also stars Stanley Tucci, and it is fantastic. Released in 1996, the film is about two Italian brothers who own a struggling restaurant. They will soon close if they don’t get a good review, and the reviewer is coming that night. They cook the most amazing meal of their lives, and the film takes place over that day. We get to know the characters and come to care about them deeply. The critic, like Godot, never shows. The food porn is outstanding, as is the soundtrack, and the final scene of the film is one of my all-time favourite film scenes–10 minutes, no cuts, not a word said. It’s worth seeing for that alone.
So. Here it is, kids. The meaning of life according to food films: follow your heart. Listen to your passion, and go where it takes you. Always be yourself. And you won’t go wrong.
Also, check out: 10 Great Food Movies to Stream on Netflix Tonight
What’s your favourite food movie? Share in the comments below!