Monday, 11 August 2014

Thursday Movie Picks Meme: Movies that Prominently Feature Food

This week, the theme for Wanderer's Thursday Movie Picks Meme is food. This was a tricky one but I did find a few good options. I did know a few that I considered but ultimately decided against, specifically Ratatouille (which seemed too obvious a choice) and No Reservations (mainly on the grounds that I didn't remember enough of that movie to write about it). Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was also a tempting choice but I also figured that one would be too obvious and there might be a few others doing it.

Still, I managed to find three very different films that all feature food in some form or another, so I hope you will enjoy this list.

What's Up Tiger Lilly? (1966)

Woody Allen's first big project is a really bizarre creation already with a weird history to it. To make a long story short, Woody Allen bought the rights to a Japanese film that was more or less a James Bond rip-off. He then proceeded to re-edit the film and redub it to create a whole new story. The result is hilariously incomprehensible with a variety of mind-boggling plot threads including protagonist Phil Moscowitz being hired by a "non-existent but real-sounding country" on a waitlist for a spot in the map and a marriage between a chicken and a snake.

Now, I know what you're thinking. How does food play into this movie? Well, it just so happens that the plot is driven by Moscowitz being tasked with foiling an international plot to steal a recipe for egg salad. Apparently it's really good egg salad and it is vital that the recipe doesn't fall into the wrong hands. Believe it or not that is probably one of the saner things to pop up in this movie.

My Dinner With Andre (1981)

Okay, technically the food isn't the main focus, but the whole film concerns the interaction between two men in a restaurant and the conversation they engage in over dinner. While the emphasis is more on the relationship between the two contrasting characters, the food that they eat is still an important element which adds to the whole atmosphere.

Chocolat (2000)

Finally, we can look at desert into this great movie starring Juliette Binoche (whatever you've heard, Johnny Depp is barely in the film, he is not the star). The whole conflict stems from the controversy that comes about when she moves into a small European town and opens a chocolate shop. It is her love for making chocolate that causes the deeply religious community to initially shun her, and it is also chocolate that ultimately wins the town over. Really, you couldn't pick a more fitting title for a movie like this.

Bonus: The Meaning of Life (1983)

Granted, this one doesn't feature food quite as prominently as my previous choices, but Monty Python's The Meaning of Life does prominently feature a group of fish in a restaurant (who are implied to be there so that they can be killed and served to customers). Eventually we get to see the fancy restaurant wherein a refined gentleman sings a song about how wonderful it is to have a penis, and if you think that's weird, just wait until you get to the infamous scene with Mr. Creosote.

If you've seen this movie, than you'll probably remember this scene very well. Mr. Creosote is an unusually obese man who orders literally everything on the menu. All the while the increasingly frustrated staff struggle with his tendency to vomit in every direction possible, customers are frightened away, and the whole thing builds up to an... explosive climax. It's disgusting, no doubt, but it is hilarious.


  1. Great post John! I absolutely love the bonus mention of The Meaning of Life, it's a great film anyway but that particular scene has me laughing every time :)
    - Allie

    1. It was a last minute addition that occurred to me just as I was about to post the initial list. There wasn't really any way I could replace any of my choices and it didn't have food as much but it was too great a choice to pass up.

  2. Some interesting choices, there. I now have a serious urge to see What's Up, Tiger Lilly? Sad that THAT'S the one I want to watch considering I actually haven't seen any of these, but it is what it is. Cool post, John.

    1. You should see it if you get the chance. It makes no sense at all but it is hilarious.

  3. These are great choices and I have not seen "What's Up Tiger Lily" in years and wish I could see it again. I have not seen "Dinner With Andre" and this is on my lengthy list of films to see but i own "Chocolate" and love the imagery. "The Big Night" is another under-rated film that has great music and acting that takes places in a restaurant and a big dinner planned. Now I must go and have a wafer thin mint:)