I just watched Big Night again after several years and was compelled to put this short list together. There is something magic when great film meets food on screen eh?
1. Big Night Even with the sometimes questionable Italian accents, nothing beats Big Night when it comes to great films about food. I didn't notice this the first time I saw it, but there are a lot of scenes that feel like a Wes Anderson film – only with Italian music and a 1950s backdrop (as opposed to Anderson's usual classic British rock with a vaguely-vintage present-day setting). Bottomline – netflix this if you haven't seen it.
2. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Gene Wilder and a river of chocolate. Enough said.
3. Spanglish Adam Sandler makes for a believable chef, lovable yet troubled family man, and IMHO has never done anything better dramatically (while still giving a good dose of funny). The scrumptrillescent late night snack of sandwich with fried egg and a beer always makes me yearn for The Linkery.
4. So I Married An Axe Murderer Yeah, this one counts. Much of the movie takes place in food & beverage establishments, from the open-mic at the cafe and dinner at home with the Scottish parents, to the hypothetical French toast breakfast with crazy-sister Rose and the love bird shenanigans at the Meats of The World butcher shop. Sidenote: best cover of Rod Stewart's Do Ya Think I'm Sexy? ever.
5. Mystic Pizza A favorite of my parents that stuck with me. The pizza place is the family hub that keeps the main characters together. I guess that's a similar thread for many of these films – how food brings people closer to share in the human experience. What do they put in that sauce???
The next list is already in the works – Best Food Scenes in Movies. A fake orgasm in a deli is sure to be present.