What better way to enjoy the weekend than with films and food? How about getting the best of both worlds by watching films that centre around food? Over the years, many big-screen productions have incorporated food, cooking and the restaurant industry into their mainstream storylines. These films often make our mouths water with their shots of delicious dishes whipped up by characters who soon become our favourites. There are many films out there that foodies will enjoy. We have put together a short list for you to get started. These films are available to watch on major OTT platforms, so the perfect foodie movie evening is just a click away!
Here are 5 Foodie Films to Binge on This Weekend:
1. The Hundred-Foot Journey (2014)
This comedy-drama about the clash of cuisines (Indian and French) is a visual and emotional treat. It is an ode to the power of food to bridge cultural gaps and erase superficial boundaries. When Abbu Kadam (Om Puri) and his family move to rural France, they are welcomed to the neighbourhood by Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren). But their relationship turns sour when Abbu and Hassan (Manish Dayal), set up an Indian restaurant in the area. Madame is herself the proprietor of a Michelin-star restaurant across the road, and a dramatic rivalry between the two sides quickly erupts. Hassan, a talented chef with big dreams, is caught in the middle. He is eager to expand his knowledge of food beyond Indian cuisine. But what do his aspirations mean for his family and their business? Watch and find out! A bonus is the film's beautiful soundtrack composed by A.R. Rahman, which perfectly complements the grandness of the French countryside and the charm of its occupants.
The original 2014 movie, Chef, stars Jon Favreau, Sofia Vergara, Scarlett Johansson and Emjay Anthony. An official Bollywood adaptation of the film was released in 2017, starring Saif Ali Khan in the lead role. A heart-warming story enriched by the wonders of food and family, both versions of Chef are a great watch for foodies. When the protagonist loses his job at an upscale restaurant, he is in dire straits. However, he sees a glimmer of hope when he decides to launch a food truck with his son, whom he had lost touch with. The Jon Favreau version treats viewers to mouth-watering shots of Cuban dishes, while the Saif Ali Khan adaptation shines a spotlight on dishes from Kochi. The films are about a man's consuming passion for cooking and how it leads him down unexpected paths. They are also about the power of food to help people reconnect and sometimes, save them from themselves.
3. Julie and Julia (2009)
Based on true stories, Julie and Julia follows the life of two women: chef and cookbook author Julia Child in the 1950s and New York blogger Julie Powell in 2002. While Child is played by Meryl Streep, Powell is played by Amy Adams. Powell decides to try her hand at every recipe in Child's cookbook in one year and documents her efforts in a blog. The film cuts between her narrative and Child's own struggles as a chef in the 1950s (when the industry was largely dominated by men). The movie is directed by the famous rom-com filmmaker Nora Ephron, who is also known for You've Got Mail (1998), When Harry Met Sally (1989) and Sleepless in Seattle (1993). This film is not a traditional romance, but a romance of two women with food. It's a profession for one and a hobby for the other, yet viewers come to understand how cooking is so much more than either. You can also expect to receive some fun cooking tips while watching this delightful film.
4. Ratatouille (2007)
No foodie film list can be complete without Ratatouille. This animated film has become a favourite of critics as well as the public over the years and appeals to children and adults alike. It follows the adventure of Remy, a rat with superior taste buds who dreams of being able to cook. When he crosses paths with Linguini - a garbage boy working at a famous restaurant in Paris - the two collaborate in an innovative way to fulfil their own aspirations. If the previous films were about the power of food to overcome cultural boundaries, this film takes the notion even further: blurring the lines between species by showing a rat who likes to cook (and is good at it!). With a creative screenplay and dialogues that will stay with you long after you have finished watching, Ratatouille is a must-watch for any foodie.
5. The Menu (2022)
The four films on this list until now are more or less "feel-good" movies. They are a relaxing way to ring in the weekend in the company of beloved characters. But if you're looking for something edgy and mind-bending, opt for The Menu (2022). This film has been described as a comedy-horror and is helmed by the creators of the award-winning series Succession. Starring Ralph Fiennes, Anya-Taylor Joy, Nicholas Hoult, and Janet McTeer, The Menu is considered a satire on fine-dining culture and the dark side of today's restaurant industry. The film is set in an exclusive restaurant located on a remote island and its chef is played by the indomitable Ralph Fiennes. The film follows the experience of the different diners as they dig into a special tasting menu, through a series of bizarre, frightening and darkly comic incidents. As the plot unfolds, you will be left admiring the food, but questioning the nature of the fine-dining industry today. More than the eyes, stomach or heart, this film is a treat for the mind: with its unexpected twists, social commentary and absurd humour.
Which of these films will you be watching first? Let us know in the comments.
About Toshita SahniToshita is fuelled by wordplay, wanderlust, wonderment and Alliteration. When she is not blissfully contemplating her next meal, she enjoys reading novels and roaming around the city.