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Celebrating Food Porn: The 10 Most Mouthwatering Movie Moments

Written by , on November 24, 2011 at 9:00 am 

Filmmakers have long strove to capture the essence of human desire within their work. Our hunger for power, love, and sex is an intense driving force that binds us to a bevvy of movie heroes. When these onscreen ego ideals finally sink their teeth into their long-longed for desire, we the audience are granted a shiver-inducing — albeit vicarious — thrill. But perhaps no movie thrill is so teasing and tantalizing as the onscreen indulgence of our lust for food. Slow motion cinematography, leering close-ups of ingredients and swooning diners flaunt food so succulent you can almost taste it.

In celebration (and thanks) of these teasing food porn scenes, we raise our glass to the….

Critics loathed Steven Spielberg’s high-flying Peter Pan adventure, but kids adored it for all its goofiness, action and magic. (Not to mention the dreamy bad boy Rufio!) In Hook, Peter Pan (Robin Williams) has become a man (a “fat grandpa man” if you will), but is forced to return to Neverland to have a final showdown with his old nemesis, Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman). But having grown old, fat and forgetful Pan struggles to reconnect to the magic that allowed him to fly and fight. But in this pivotal scene not only does he rediscover his childlike wonder and imagination, but also he helps unfold a bangarang feast for which the child within all of us still hungers.

Stanley Tucci’s kitchen-centric dramedy Big Night centers on two Italian brothers who are deeply passionate about Italian food, but struggle with the business aspect of running their own restaurant. As you can imagine, there’s plenty to drool over in the course of this star-studded romp, but the most lip-smacking moment is when the brothers present a difficult delicacy from their homeland to a table of influential diners. Besides the succulent shots of the sliced timpano, there’s a bounty of reaction shots that tease, leading to an explosive (and oddly enviable) review, “This is so f*cking good I should kill you!”

Of course a kid flick set in candy factory was destined to make this list. But in the whole weird and wonderful tour of Willy Wonka’s sugar-coated dynasty, there is no scene so unrelentingly drool-inducing as the opening title sequence, which relishes in shot after shot of chocolate, chocolate, chocolate. It’s totally scrumdidilyumptious.

Bob Giraldi’s Dinner Rush offers audiences a behind-the-scenes look at a bustling Tribeca restaurant, revealing plenty of personal drama while brandishing a wide variety of old school and new wave delicacies. But its head chef’s Udo’s crazy configuration of pasta, vanilla, champagne and lobster that lingers longest. Udo’s father likes his food simple (ain’t nothing wrong with sausage and peppers!). Yet Udo dreams of culinary celebrity and innovation. So when a pair of foodie flirts roll into the joint, Udo aims to impress with a curious (but seemingly delish) culinary concoction. Slow motion adds to the savoring.

 

This summer Kristen Wiig & co. grossed out audiences worldwide with the wildest dress fitting ever put on film. But amid much manic madness, there is one memorably mouth-watering moment. Poor Annie (Kristen Wiig) has little going for her. She’s broke, lonely, and fears losing her best friend Lillian to the ranks of adulthood when Lil announces her fast-approaching wedding. How to cope? Cupcakes! Or more specifically take a little me-time to create an envy inducing cupcake that is surely as tasty as it is adorable.

Strange that an animated feature about a rat in the kitchen can be so delectable, but Pixar’s Ratatouille managed to tell a complicated and compelling tale about the desire to create and cook that was absolutely mouthwatering. While Remy the rat’s explanation of flavor was also a contender for this list, it was Ego’s flashback to his mother’s cooking that rose above. Here director Brad Bird managed to succinctly capture the power and magic of a good meal in a way that all audiences can relate to and relish. I mean, how can you not watch this and experience a vivid sense memory of your own mamma’s cooking?

This lush Italian drama stars Tilda Swinton  as a devoted wife and mother who rediscovers passion and herself when she begins a torrid affair with a young chef and his seductive cooking. Food and sex are repeatedly linked in this tantalizing tale, and Swinton herself has jokingly called the pivotal prawn scene “prawnography.” Here in the countryside of Italy, food is art, life, and absolutely fantasy-inducing.


Alexander Payne’s blistering dark comedy Sideways introduced a whole new audience to wine appreciation, and stymied the sales of Miles’ (Paul Giamatti) most loathed red, Merlot. But what about this crude buddy-comedy most drew people to wine country, wine tastings and all things vino? My bet would be Virginia Madsen’s passionate allegorical speech, which extolled the glories of wine. I defy you to watch this scene and not thirst to raise a glass. Just not any f*cking Merlot!

The mobsters in Martin Scorsese’s Oscar-winning classic knew how to live the good life, even in tough times. While other inmates are “living like pigs,” Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) and his “family” are living it up, crafting gourmet dishes behind prison bars. As soon as you see Paul Sorvino slice garlic with a razor, your mouth can’t help but to water, craving pasta with plenty of garlic-laced sauce. Who says crime doesn’t pay?

Succulent in it’s simplicity but not for the faint-hearted (or vegetarians), Ang Lee’s Oscar-nominated Taiwanese family-drama opens on Chef Chu (Sihung Lung) grabbing and gutting a live fish to create a homemade meal for his family from scratch. Each step of the recipe is skillfully executed and captured with care. Simply shot with a detailed soundscape, you can practically smell the ingredients he expertly slices and chops. This onscreen meal is so well showcased you can feel the flavors frolic across your tastes buds!

What’s your favorite mouth-watering movie moment?


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