Breaking bread with your family, friends, lover or enemies can be the source of great drama as well as great food. These movies have all captured those meal-time theatricals beautifully.
Some are sad, some are joyful, but all are required viewing for anyone who enjoys a good meal (and we certainly do!):
1. Like Water For Chocolate – In this sumptuous Spanish film, Tita infuses her cooking with emotions – sadness, lust, longing – that are transferred to the people who eat her tasty dishes. It’s a beautiful love story, but we suggest you keep the tissues handy.
2. Big Night – We love this 1996 flick with Tony Shalhoub and Stanley Tucci. Two Italian brothers decides to create one fabulous feast in the hopes of saving their business. (We’ve always dreamed of making a “timpano.”
3. The Celebration – This 1998 Danish film is not so much about the food, but the conversation that happens during a very revealing birthday dinner. It’s sharp and cringe-worthy and definitely not for kids.
4. Eat Drink Man Woman – Ang Lee (of Life of Pi fame) directed this charming Taiwanese film about the changing relationships between an aging chef and his three daughters. You’ll want to eat the screen, seriously.
5. Babette’s Feast – This is another foreign film (why do they do food so well, we wonder?), a Danish drama about a cook who wins a lottery and decides to create a “real French dinner” for her employers. Lip-smacking and touching.
6. Julie and Julia – There’s no such thing as a bad Meryl Streep film in our books, and this one has delicious food to boot. This bio-pic of Julia Child and the young blogger who decided to cook 524 of her recipes is great fun.
7. My Dinner With Andre – What they’re having for dinner doesn’t matter, it’s the conversation that does. This film starring Wallace Shawn and Andre Gregory is just two guys talking in a restaurant, but it’s somehow fascinating.
8. Lady and the Tramp – Okay, we know, maybe this is a cheat. The Disney film’s not all about dinner. But who can forget the scene of Lady and the Tramp sharing a pasta dinner in the alley (and that single strand of spaghetti)? That’s amore…
9. Diner – A classic film that launched the careers of Steve Guttenberg, Kevin Bacon, Mickey Rourke and Ellen Barkin, Diner revolves around the late-night hangout where a group of young men gabbed bout life and love.
10. When Harry Met Sally – This movie was about whether Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal could REALLY just be friends, but the most memorable part in the film is during a particularly lively lunch at a deli. (“I’ll have what she’s having.”)