The Top Five Food Movies Of All Time + “Julie and Julia” Opens Today

In honor of the movie “Julie and Julia” opening today (check local listings), we have decided to proclaim (once again) the top 5 food movies of all time (with commentary):

1. Tampopo – A series of oddball vignettes about everything from making a Japanese omelet to eating conformity to how to taste soup — plus a few steamy scenes thrown in to (not so subtly) drive home the point that food and sex are about the only things in life worth discussing.

2. Eat Drink Man Woman – Ang Lee’s masterpiece of food and family will absolutely, positively have you running to the nearest (good) Chinese restaurant the minute it is over.

3. Ratatouille – Rats in the kitchen never tasted so good, and despite the typical Disney-esque plot (youngster must find himself in the big bad world and learn life lessons….yawn), the rapid fire food dialogue (and animation that reveals more food verisimilitude with every viewing), is a foodie insider’s dream.

4/5. (tie) Big Night/Mostly Martha – Two movies that define (in a movie sense anyway) the frustrations of great cooks running (or trying to run) great restaurants. The Hollywood remake of Mostly Martha (No Reservations starring Catherine Zeta-Jones) is to the original what a cup of Campbell’s is to a bowl of bouillabaisse.

Honorable mention:

Vatel

Babette’s Feast

Who’s Killing The Great Chefs Of Europe

And finally:

The Two Most Overrated Food Movies Of All Time:

Chocolat – A boring, banal love story that women flock to because of the title (and because it features Johnny Depp (as “Roux,” get it?) supposedly interested in a woman fifteen years older than he is).

Tortilla Soup – Scene by scene remake of Eat Drink Man Woman, completely lacking the wit and wisdom of the original. Latinos love it because the food scenes (and Hector Elizondo) are great. Americans watch it because they don’t have to read subtitles.

7 thoughts on “The Top Five Food Movies Of All Time + “Julie and Julia” Opens Today

  1. What? No mention of “Like Water for Chocolate”? How could you? ;-)

    Btw, I’d also add “Super Size Me” as an honorable mention.

  2. One movie few have seen, and it’s not generally considered a “Food Movie”, but given the set and final scene, I think it belongs. I don’t think it belongs in the top 5, but wanted to mention it, if you are looking for something unusual to see with a food theme subtext. “The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover”

  3. OK, so maybe I’m not as sophisticated as some, but I would put these in my top 5:

    Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (the original)

    Animal House

  4. I doubt Julie and Julia will ever crack a Top 100 list. The only value I found in the movie came from sitting next to the Food Gal, ELV and Richman at a screening of Ephron’s attempt to present a memorable film. Oh yeah, Kerry Simon’s cotton candy and Hubert Keller’s caramel corn were delicious movie treats. The movie itself–forgettable.

  5. How about MOstly Martha …the original Not the american knock off “NO reservations ” ehhhhhhh or The Grand CHef it’s a Korean film But amazing…and finally EAT DRINK MAN WOMAN……! your picks are great too but always up for sharing

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