Recently, the fellas at the Adventures in Movies! podcast hosted an episode where they discussed films that feature foods that make them hungry. Listening to the podcast, I couldn’t help but think about the foods I’ve seen in films that either intrigue me or turn me into a ravenous monster. To be honest, it doesn’t take much to make me hungry so naturally, I was inclined to make my own list of television and films that make me want to cook and eat.
I’m not saying I want to eat brains, but I’m not necessarily condemning it. Originally a graphic novel, iZombie was adapted for television and the backstory and name to the protagonist was changed. Just like Gwen Dylan from the original source material, Liv Moore required continuous brain feasts to think and blend in with the living. In addition to helping her maintain her lifestyle, each time Liv eats the brains of a murder victim, she takes on their personality and is able to revisit their memories to help her solve crimes. Liv is not a monster, she just can’t not eat brains. She finds new ways to fix them up and each time she cooks up a brain meal it looks delicious. I have seen her make brain sushi, top it on a pizza, mix it in pasta. It looks so good, she has often had to stop others from eating her lunch. iZombie makes me want to eat brains.
Mystic Pizza (1988)
I’m sure many of our readers watch 1988’s Mystic Pizza each time it airs. (If you don’t you should.) Before Julia Roberts was launched into stardom, she played Daisy, one of the two Araújo sisters. The sisters live in the small town of Mystic, Connecticut, a coastal town with not much to do, but fish and fall in love. Roberts, along with Lily Taylor and Annabeth Gish, work in a small mom and pop pizza place. The girls talk about boys, their future, and the expectations put on them as women as they serve up the best looking pizza to the community. The Mystic Pizza special has a secret ingredient, which I’m guessing is witchcraft because one cannot help but be spellbound by the looks of that pizza.
Seems Like Old Times (1980)
Seems Like Old Times is a Neil Simon romantic comedy starring Chevy Chase, Charles Grodin, and a very silly Goldie Hawn. Goldie Hawn is a big-hearted lawyer who has filled her enormous home with servants she has defended or is defending in court. She is a huge proponent of second chances. The massive California home is filled with a cook, drivers, gardeners, nine dogs, and an ex-husband played by Chevy Chase who was recently framed for bank robbery. This does not bode well for Charles Grodin, who is up for District Attorney. Glenda (Hawn) has to figure out how to clear her ex-husband who is hiding from the law, defend her servants, and prepare chicken pepperoni for the governor who is coming to dinner. Normally, she would have this in the bag, but Aurora, the cook (played by Yvonne Wilder) cannot help because she has to get her feet scraped. Glenda with help from Chester (T.K. Carter) and her ex-husband pull together the famed chicken pepperoni, which has haunted me since childhood. It’s cheesy and beautiful and I’ve gone out of my way to try and recreate it, but none of my attempts taste like how I imagined it.
It’s Complicated (2009)
I’m sure Brooklyn Nine-Nine’s Rosa Diaz will agree that this Nancy Meyer film is fun and just delightful to watch. Steve Martin, Meryl Streep, and Alec Baldwin are stuck in a very odd love triangle, but Meryl Streep can soften their hearts with her insane cooking skills. Streep’s character of Jane Adler is so over her ex-husband played by Alec Baldwin who left her for a younger woman (Lake Bell). After a strange one night stand with her ex, Jane’s life takes some unexpected turns. She then meets Steve Martin, the kind Adam Schaffer, who instantly charms her. While figuring out her romantic dalliances, we see Jane Adler prepare croque monsieurs, lavender ice cream, chocolate croissants, and a huge chocolate cake. If you’re anti Meyers and on team Ephron, watch it for the food.
This is an odd choice for me, because while there are some things I like about this Adam Sandler drama, there are some things I don’t and it’s mainly centered around Tea Leoni’s character, but that’s an article for a different time. Paz Vega plays Flor, a young immigrant with a daughter who goes to work for the Clasky family.While her daughter becomes sort of a project for Leoni’s character, Flor is torn between making a living and living with the fear of losing her daughter. Leoni’s plays Deborah Clasky, a woman with a very volatile emotional streak who is highly critical of her own daughter and resentful of her husband John (Sandler). In the midst of all this drama, John, a famous chef, prepares the best looking breakfast sandwich in the world. It’s simply a BLT with a fried egg over it, but it’s the melted cheese that seals the deal. You will find yourself rewatching this film just for the sandwich!