Food-Themed Movies: Eroticizing the Art of Cooking and Eating

American-made or foreign-language movies about food are usually box-office gold. Even mediocre works, such as Scott Hicks’ “No Reservations,” the American remake of the far superior 2001 German feature, “Mostly Martha,” was a decent achiever at the box-office this past weekend.

The appeal of the cast is an important ingredient, though neither Catherine Zeta-Jones nor Aaron Eckhart, the lead performers of “No Reservations,” is a major box-office draw. But a good deal of the film is set in the kitchen and involves fod-preparation.

In 1963, Tony Richardson’s Oscar-winning picture “Tom Jones” achieved some kind of a record. The scene in which Tom Jones (Albert Finney, young and handsome) dines with the copious Mrs. Waters may be the funniest and lewdest eating scene ever set to celluloid. The whole movie served as a fanciful, ebullient tribute to the sensual delectability of a good meal.

For your consideration, here is a select list of movies about food that’s worth checking out (or revisiting) in the heat of the summer.

You will find detailed analysis of each film in the Reviews section. The movies are presented in alphabetical order:

Babette’s Feast (Denmark, 1987)

Big Night (U.S. 1996)

Eat Drink Man Woman (Taiwan, 1994)

Like Water for Chocolate (Mexico, 1993)

Mostly Martha (Germany, 2001)

Tampopo (Japan, 1986)

Tom Jones (U.K., 1963)