Top 10 memorable meals in film
#10 – Snake Surprise (Indiana Jones & the Temple of Doom)
Not to be confused with the crap Indiana Jones with aliens, in this film our hero ‘Indy’ is elsewhere, and his blonde lady friend and small annoying Chinese mate are invited into a palace and given delicacies such as chilled monkey brain, eyeball soup and snake surprise. (The surprise is that the snake is filled with more snakes. SURPRISE! Snakes.)
#8 – Boy vs. Cake (Matilda)
Poor, poor Bruce. Not being able to control his fat little hands, he STEALS the almost certainly homicidal Miss Trunchbull’s elevenses and is subjected to gooey iced humiliation (not to mention a total subversion of the Healthy Schools initiative) by having a preposterous mountain of cake forced upon him. This alternative method of teaching begs the question; why not just… I don’t know, NOT give a fat child more cake? It is lovely and triumphant when he finishes the cake though, and maybe he was actually Adam Richman in childhood. It’s possible.
#8 – Conversation restaurant (Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life)
Furthering my quest to get The Meaning of Life into EVERYTHING I write (I knew my philosophy degree was not in vain) I will call on the charming Mr Creosote, with his bucket of food and subsequent explosion onto the guests… But! This is not the only memorable meal in the film. I would pay actual earth money to go into the American ‘conversation’ restaurant, where the waiter John Cleese provides hungry diners with conversation topics, leading one couple to conclude that all philosophers have an ‘S’ in them (thinking about this, lots of them do, actually).
#7 – Lobsters à la Woody (Annie Hall)
Being of Jewish stock AND a fan of fishing (I’m a real catch…) how could I leave out the lovely scene of Woody Allen and Annie trying to eat lobsters? They escape all over the floor and chaos and hilarity ensue! While not technically a meal (the lobsters get the better of them) its lovely to watch. As he says, ‘we should have got steaks, steaks don’t have legs.’
#6 – Sannakji (Oldboy)
This is a GREAT film, and is equal measures of brilliant and quite horrific. The relevant meal scene shows Dae-su in a sushi restaurant being given by a pretty young waitress a plate of wriggly seafood. It’s a delicious live octopus! the octopus doesn’t last a very long time, as he is munched up head first with legs and legs and legs akimbo. Five octopuses were used in the filming of the scene, and are given a ‘thank you’ by the producers in the credits. Lovely.
#5 – Don’t eat the fish (Airplane!)
Yes, OK, aeroplane meals aren’t memorable usually – but on this ill-fated flight the fish ends up killing the pilot, copilot, disturbingly adult children and inappropriate nuns. Those who had the beef just had to endure all the other ridiculousness going on, and welcome their new inflatable autopilot.
#4 – Spaghetti speciale (Lady and the Tramp)
I know it’s not the most sophisticated or trendy film de jour but ITS JUST SO SWEET. Romance is sharing a strand of pasta with someone, and letting them have the last meatball, even if he’s a haggard old mess from the streets and she’s quite literally a stuck up bitch. Bonus points for the signless pop-up restaurant in a dark alley – if this film was set in 2013 rather than 1955 the dogs wouldn’t be able to move for hipsters.
#3 – Pan-fried brain (Hannibal)
I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t count ‘eating my own brain’ on a list of stuff I really fancy doing. Alas, this is poor Ray Liotta’s fate at the hands of Dr Lector. At least he got it fried off with a little butter and herbs. We really need to feel sorry for poor Clarice, who not only had to watch proceedings but didn’t even get a taste.
#2 – Confit byaldi (Ratatouille)
If cute Disney-fied rats could cook, of COURSE they’d cook ratatouille! The Jay Rayner of the film, Anton Ego, is treated to the chef’s dish of the day, which evokes memories of his childhood and draws a tear from his eye and a glowing review from his pen. The start of rats taking over the city of Paris gastronomically!
#1 – Orgasm sandwich (When Harry met Sally)
Without a doubt the most memorable meal in film… I don’t actually remember a lot else about the plot. Meg Ryan/Sally is fantastically convincing having a sandwich based orgasm JUST to prove that men cannot tell the difference. I should perhaps rephrase ‘sandwich based orgasm’ but I kind of like the way it sounds… however disturbing. Made ever better by the little old lady who says ‘I’ll have what she’s having!’ Bet you would, you minx you.