Movies about the magic of food – 4 magical movies for Halloween
Simply irresistible (1999)
‘Simple Irresistible’ is a movie about Amanda, played by Sarah Michelle Gellar. She receives magical help from a crab. (Yes, a crab). Amanda is a chef, whose little restaurant is slowly going downhill. She has inherited it from her mother, but she doesn’t have her mother’s trust. She uses her mother’s recipes and customs and therefore fails to keep up with modern expectations.
The crab plays matchmaker and has set him up on a date with a man, Tom (Sean Patrick Flanery), a department store manager who plans to open a new restaurant. They fall in love.
When Tom discovers that there is magic at work in the relationship, he believes that Amanda is a witch and wants nothing to do with her. One thing leads to another and Amanda ends up cooking at Tom’s restaurant on opening night.
How will these two overcome their personal doubts and fears, and end up together?
In ‘Chocolate’ witchcraft is simply implied. The viewer understands that Vianne (Juliette Binoche), the new chocolatier from a small French town, is a witch, because her chocolate has magical properties.
He begins to improve the lives of the villagers from the moment he moves in with his daughter. The town is very conservative and most of the villagers are horrified by both the recklessness of the newcomers and the magic and decadence they bring into the life of the villagers.
‘Chocolat’ not only touches on Vianne’s love life, but talks about the love of parents and children, friends and long-time married couples. In addition, he talks about how prejudice and xenophobia can result in life-threatening situations in small, close-knit communities.
That being said, ‘Chocolat’ is a romantic, warm and overall charming film.
woman on top (2000)
‘Woman on Top’ is another movie about the magic of food. In this, Isabella (Penélope Cruz) is a great cook, and she opens a restaurant in Salvador with Toninho (Murilo Benício), her husband. He cheats on her and she flees to the United States to live with a friend of hers, Monica (Harold Perrineau). Isabella’s cooking inspired a TV producer to create a cooking show for her, ‘Passion Food’.
Back in Salvador, Toninho’s restaurant collapses without Isabella’s cooking. In his despair, Toninho curses Yemanja, the goddess of love and the seas. Yemanja responds by keeping the fish out of the sea around the village, so that local fishermen don’t fish.
Toninho chases after Isabella to win her back, but Isabella in turn has asked Yemanja to harden her heart against love, a request Yemanja responded to. Since Isabella is now unable to feel anything, all of Toninho’s efforts to win her back are fruitless. On top of that, Isabella’s show turns out to be a huge success.
How will Toninho get his Isabella back? Will Isabella ever feel anything again? Will Yemanjá forgive her?
The film ends in a very sensual and romantic scene where Toninho and Isabella cook together.
Like water for Chocolate (1992)
‘Like Water for Chocolate’ probably influenced ‘Simple Irresistible’, ‘Chocolate’ and ‘Woman on Top’.
‘Like Water for Chocolate’ tells the story of a Mexican family. The family has a tradition that the youngest daughter stays single and takes care of her parents. In the story the youngest is Tita, who loves Pedro. They can’t get married, so Pedro marries his sister so he can be close to Tita.
When Tita cooks, all her feelings are infused into the food and the story takes some surprising turns. Some of the twists are very funny, some are sad, and some are horrifying.
‘Como agua para chocolate’ is a traditional Latin American magical realism film, which in my opinion makes it a fascinating fairy tale full of unexpected twists, one of which is the ending.
If you choose to see a food magic movie for Halloween, be sure to prepare some really nice snacks, or a nice dinner that you and your guests can enjoy during or after the movie. because these movies will whet your appetite.