Food in the Movies

pie

I love food in the movies. I’m not talking about my own consumption -- popcorn or Junior Mints or Dots -- but the vicarious pleasure of watching as actors enjoy their food on the big screen. For the viewer, movie meals can be a deliciously, beautiful experience. I like a good movie romance as well as the next girl. But what I also like is a little knish with the kisses, a little lemon meringue with the loving.

Here are some wonderfully yummy movies that feature good eats:

Tom Jones

An oldie but goodie, this movie features food as foreplay. Remember a handsome, young Albert Finney sitting across from a woman he was admiring? The two of them are cracking chicken bones, slurping oysters on the half-shell, sucking meat out of the lobster?

Good Fellas

A violent movie about the mob, this film is also about family and food. There’s Paulie in jail, lovingly slicing garlic with a razor, there’s the ubiquitous red sauce simmering on the stove.

Fried Green Tomotoes

Luckily, I saw this movie in Iowa at the end of August when I had plenty of green tomatoes to pick. I sliced, breaded and fried green tomatoes and they were just as crispy and delicious as promised.

Like Water for Chocolate

There’s a magically realistic scene where the quail in rose petal sauce sets everyone swooning. Repressed emotions translate into the food. The desire becomes so hot that it starts a fire.

When Harry Met Sally

Everyone remembers the most famous scene, when an older woman (played by Rob Reiner’s mother) looks at Meg Ryan and announces: “I’ll have what she’s having.” But does anyone recall what it is that Meg Ryan is eating? Well, it’s a deli sandwich on fresh Jewish Rye – the meat piled so high there’s enough pastrami for three take-out lunches.

Julie and Julia

This entire movie is a homage to Julia Child, the most lusty enthusiast of gustatory delights. There’s so much savoring of great food in this movie that the aromas of the kitchen seem to waft through the theater. Meryl Streep playsJulia, whimpering in delight at her first bite of a delicately sautéed fresh fish.

Eat, Pray, Love

Not much on plot, but this is a lovely travelogue of Italy, India and Bali. Julia Roberts orders well in Italy, but the stars are a simple pasta, so tomato-pretty on the plate; and pizza – the kind that softly folds as olive oil drips between your knuckles.

Waitress

For the dessert lover, there’s plenty of pie to choose from. Keri Russell plays a small town girl in a bad marriage. All her creative energy goes into baking the most heavenly creations. There’s Marshmallow Mermaid Pie (with flaked coconut, and heavy cream); there’s Kick-in-the-Pants Pie (Cinnamon spice custard); there’s Fallen in Love Chocolate Mousse Pie; and her famous, flakey Peachy Keen Tarts.

Other movies for foodies: Babette’s Feast; Eat, Drink, Man, Woman; Big Night.

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