This post includes a list of noteworthy films featuring delicious food scenes. Although there are a lot of food and cooking moments in these films, they are not the main focus of their story. There is a greater message behind the delicious meals featured in them… Beware of spoilers.
5 Movies About Food That Will Make You Hungry
FOOD MOVIE #1 – LITTLE FOREST (2018)
Hye-won leaves the city life (in Seoul) to return to her home town: a small village in the countryside. During this period, she stays at her mother’s house.
At first, Hye-won was low-key about her return. However, two of her childhood friends notice her return and they reach out to her. As Hye-won cooks for herself and her friends, she reminisces about her childhood and what her mother has taught her. During her stay at the countryside, Hye-won realizes that her life in Seoul wasn’t exactly what she was looking for.
When Hye-won was still a teenager, her mother just left their house without notice. As Hye-won realizes the importance of “growing roots” and having a place to call home, she starts to become less angry at her mother for suddenly “abandoning” her. Although the two haven’t spoken in years, the final scene hints that Hye-won’s mother is back.
NOTE: A house is not a home. When Hye-won was in Seoul, she had a place to stay but it didn’t make her happy. However, when she went back to her village, a place that she once thought it was dreadful, she felt happy. Why? One always feels more happy and energized when they are close to their roots.
FOOD MOVIE #2 – THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY (2014)
An Indian family leaves their home in search of a more peaceful life. First, they move to London. Shortly after, the family is on the move again because the father (Kadam) deemed their current residence unfit to open a restaurant.
The Kadam family leaves London and moves into a small town in France. Then, the father decides to open an restaurant right next the “Le Saule Pleureur”, a well-know upscale French restaurant in the area. Shortly after, tension arises between Kadam and the manager of “Le Saule Pleureur” (Madam Mallory).
Some of Mallory’s chefs take the matter into their own hands and decide to vandalize Kadam’s restaurant. Mallory condemns the attack and fires the culprits. Eager to improve his cooking skills, Hassan (Kadam’s second eldest son) applies for an apprenticeship at “Le Saule Pleureur”. At first, Hassan’s father is strongly against his decision but then, he decides to let Hassan work for Mallory.
Hassan’s cooking skills draws the attention of other restaurants. Later on, the young man receives another job offer and moves to Paris. Although, Hassan thrives on a professional level, he misses his family and regrets leaving his crush (Marguerite). As a result, he quits his job and moves back to the small town.
This time, Hassan returns to “Le Saule Pleureur” on his own terms. First, he buys a stake at the restaurant, then he asks Marguerite to partner up with him to get a third Michelin star.
NOTE: The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. However, sometimes one needs to step out of their comfort zone to realize what are they really looking for. Although Hassan had a better paying job in Paris, he couldn’t help to feel incredibly homesick. That’s why he went back to where his loved ones were.
FOOD MOVIE #3 – COOK UP A STORM (2017)
Sky and Paul are two talented chefs trying to prove themselves in the culinary world. Their passion and drive for cooking stems from their fathers. Sky’s father abandoned him when he was little to further his career as a chef. The man told his son to not look for him until he became a great cook. Meanwhile, Paul made a promise to his dying father that he would one day become a great chef.
The two young men clash when Paul quits his prestigious job in Europe and decides to open a restaurant (Stellar) right next to Sky’s place (Seven). They immediately start fighting over the best ingredients. Things escalate and two chefs challenge each other in a cook-off. Although both tie in terms of taste, Paul ends up winning due to his superior plating skills.
Just when the odds seemed to be in Paul’s favour, his luck suddenly changes for the worse. First the manager of the investment firm (Li Group) strips Paul’s control of Stellar and hands it to his girlfriend (Mayo). Then, Paul learns that Mayo is actually dating the manager of the Li Group. Shocked, Paul leaves the restaurant and runs into Sky. The two hash out their differences and join forces to fight their common enemy (Li Group).
Paul and Sky enter into an international culinary competition as a team. They win but only one can face the God of Cookery (Sky’s father). As a result, Paul withdraws himself from the competition giving Sky the chance to face his own father. In the end, Sky ends up serving a bowl of noodles to his father. The man cannot stop eating it, which was his way of acknowledging Sky’s culinary skills.
NOTE: Greatness comes at a cost. Sky’s father left his child behind to become one the world’s greatest chefs. Was is the right thing to do? People have the right to have dreams, but it’s not okay to hurt others in the process. Ko belittled his own child so he could have an excuse to leave him.
FOOD MOVIE #4 – CHEF (2014)
Carl is a talented head chef at restaurant named Gauloise. Tension arises when Carl decides to innovate and Riva (the owner) tells him to stick to the original menu.
One day, a well-known food critic (Ramsey) stops by at Gauloise for a meal. Riva tells Carl to serve the restaurant’s old classics, which leads to a poor food review. Infuriated, Carl insults Ramsey publicly on Twitter. Then, the chef proceeds to create a new menu and invites Ramsey again for a “rematch”. However, Riva forbids Carl to serve his new dishes. Out of impulse, Carl leaves the restaurant.
Ramsey accepts Carl’s challenge and shows up again at Gauloise. However, the staff serves him the same food as before. This leads to another poor review. After seeing Ramsey’s tweet, Carl loses his temper and returns to Gauloise to confront the food critic. Carl’s meltdown goes viral. After the incident, Carl loses his job and reputation.
Carl fights back and opens his own food truck. During this process, he bonds with his estranged son and rekindles with his ex (Inez). The food truck meets tremendous success which prompts Ramsey to pay him a visit. The food critic wants to hire Carl for his new restaurant, where he will have full creative control as a head chef. Carl accepts Ramsey’s offer and remarries Inez.
NOTE: Being talented is not enough. Carl is indeed a very talented chef, but he lacked humility. Being a great chef, doesn’t grant Carl to do whatever he wants in someone else’s kitchen. Although Riva’s words to Carl were pretty harsh, he’s still the owner of the restaurant. If it wasn’t for those poor reviews, Carl would’ve never stepped out of his comfort zone.
FOOD MOVIE #5 – THE LUNCHBOX (2013)
Ila is a young woman who is trying to revive her marriage. As a result, she dedicates a lot of her time cooking delicious dishes for her husband (Rajeev). Everyday, Ila packs the meals into a lunch box and then, a delivery service ensures that the food gets to her husband.
One day, due to a mix up, someone else (Saajan) gets Ila’s lunch box instead of her husband. Saajan is an accountant who’s about to retire. Soon, Ila realizes that Rajeev hasn’t been eating her meals. Therefore, Ila writes to Saajan explaining him the mix up. The two continue exchanging letters and eventually develop a close bond.
Despite of Ila’s efforts to make her husband happy, she finds out that Raajev has been cheating on her with another woman. As a result, Ila contemplates the idea of leaving her husband and moving to another country with their daughter. Saajan learns about Ila’s marital problems through the exchanged letters and he suggests leaving together. So, the two arrange to meet up. However, Saajan doesn’t show up. After seeing Ila from afar, Saajan walked away as he deemed himself unfit for her (due to his age).
During this time, Ila’s father passes away. Seeing her mother in a unhappy marriage makes Ila go after Saajan. When she arrives at Saajan’s workplace, Ila finds out that he has retired and is now on his way to another city. Meanwhile, Saajan changes his mind and decides to return to Mumbai to look for Ila. It’s rather uncertain, whether the two managed to see each other again.
NOTE: Happiness is a choice. Staying married would’ve been a safer choice for Ila, but she decided to be happy or least try to be happier. Unlike her mother, Ila was brave enough to take proactive steps towards her own happiness, even if that implies making tough decisions such as starting a new life in a foreign place.