Fierce Foodie: Movie Yum
a blogumn by Roya Hamadani
Can I get a close-up on that cupcake?
Have you ever noticed how in the vast majority of movies people never eat? Or when they do, the plate sits just out of focus as they talk and gesture without actually ingesting anything? As if we don’t know it’s a plate of mush and condiments. The absolute worst is when they order the meal and then jump up and knock it onto the floor because of some silly plot point obviously fabricated by someone who has no appreciation for food. I’m talking to you, John Cusack, of a certain scene in an otherwise perfect Grosse Point Blank. Although it could be argued that an egg white omelet is not actually a food.
Barring movies about restaurants, many films make the mistake of ignoring food although it can and does serve many purposes. It can set the scene, as in Pan’s Labyrinth when the heroine is faced with a heavily laden table of eerily perfect foods guarded over by a monster. It characterizes the eater, such as the lobster scene in Splash where Darryl Hannah bites into the tail shell and all. It provides a tangible connection to reality in fantasy movies like the Lord of the Rings trilogy, where sausages and bacon and rabbit stew pop up as often as furry footed hobbits and pointy eared elves.
There are however a few films where food often steals the scenes from the well developed characters doing the cooking and eating: The Scent of Green Papaya, a luscious meditation on pre-war Vietnam; Eat Drink Man Woman, an artfully told story of Chinese food and family; and my all time favorite, Babette’s Feast, in which the last few elderly members of a religious sect based in a remote Danish seacoast village are treated to a once in a lifetime Parisian culinary masterpiece. Is there anything better than the light on an old woman’s plain and weathered face as she enjoys paté for the first and only time?
Enjoy this recipe after the jump as you relax with a movie, and don’t forget to share your own favorite cinematic moments in food!
Vanilla-Rum Colas from Martha Stewart
Small ice cubes
3 cups cola
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark rum
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
6 orange wedges or 4 sliced kumquats
For each drink, fill a glass 3/4 full with ice. Add 1/2 cup cola, 3 tablespoons rum, and 1/8 teaspoon vanilla. Squeeze orange or kumquats into drink, and stir.
I suggest tossing in freshly popped popcorn with grated parmesan cheese to accompany this yummy drink!