5. The Ramen Girl
Arguably, this was Brittney Murphy’s finest performance. It’s a unique film about Asian culture that doesn’t involve martial arts or supernatural horror. After her boyfriend dumps her, aimless post-college Abby (Murphy) moves begins cleaning for aging master chef Maezumi and his wife, Reiko. Soon, the noodles extraordinaire takes Abby under his wing, and she ends up learning more about herself than Japanese noodles. Watch with a dash of soy sauce.
Besides plague and war, anything predating the Renaissance must have been awful because for most of the world, chocolate was unheard of. Unheard of. Let that soak in. Forget white, dark, peanut butter, toffee, regular milk, all that. Chocolate drinks were popular in the 17th and 18th centuries and the first chocolate bar was sold in 1984 by Hershey Bar for five cents. The movieChocolat emobies everything that’s great about chocolate; it’s delicious, fun, entertaining and sometimes even sexy. Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche star in this film, which is set in a conservative French town in 1960. If you aren’t persuaded to eat an entire chocolate cake after this movie, you are inhuman.
3. Julie & Julia
How on earth could this one be skipped? It’s the true story about Julie Powell (Amy Adams), a foodie blogger, who cooks her way through famous Julia Child’s monumental cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.Meryl Streep plays Child with poise and absolute surety. It’s the perfect movie for reflection, fun and food.
2. Babette’s Feast
Although some might be inclined to shy away from a foreign film, fear not! The pure sensuality of the movie carries it far beyond the subtitles. It’s about a puritanical community in 19th century Denmark, and one French woman who wins the lottery. She spends all of her money preparing an extravagant feast in memory of the man who took her in when she was an orphan. The costumes, cinematography and acting are all lush, but not as lush as the beautiful feast laid out before us at the end of the film. It won an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film in 1987.
Keri Russell uses this plucky charm to narrate a story about love, abuse, friendship, pregnancy and, of course, pie. Russell plays Jenna Hunterson, a woman unhappily wedded to a pathetic misogynist (what misogynist isn’t, though?) named Earl Hunterson (Jeremy Sisto). After finding out she’s pregnant, she uses pie baking to cope with it (and her marriage and affair). Some of the best ones are “Earl Murders Me Because I’m Having An Affair Pie” and “Pregnant Miserable Self Pitying Loser Pie.” It’s a hilarious and poignant movie, so find a good pie recipe and indulge in this movie with some of your best companions.