With the release of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs this weekend, I caught a commercial on Adult Swim the other night that said this film was either the cause of or solution to “a serious case of the munchies.” It made me hungry. What’s this? A man and woman frollicking inside jello? Oh, sooo much spaghetti! Those gummi bears look f*cking scrumptious!
I immediately got up from my couch and made a bowl of ice cream. With Heath bar crumbs. And caramel topping. Mmmm. Then I sat down and wondered, “wait, what just happened?”
It got me thinking — some action movies make you drive a little faster once you leave the theater; some dramas make you re-think your life and donate money to the Red Cross. Which movies make you hungry? I thought long and hard (on an empty stomach) and came up with five films that make me salivate.
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids
When those kids were jumping around and getting covered in Oatmeal Cream Pie, did that not look fantastic? Didn’t it change the way you looked at your Cheerios for awhile? Seeing our day-to-day foods giant-sized should’ve turned us off to them…but no, it made me ask my Mom for those little cream-filled bastards every time we went to the store.
However, that film also made me frightened by the very presence of insects. Even the nice ones.
Super Size Me
This is, I suppose, an ironic choice, because all this movie makes me want to do is choke down a Big Mac like a dude finding a piece of bread whilst stranded in the middle of the desert. In fact, I had never eaten a Big Mac or a McGriddles sandwich until after I saw Morgan Spurlock’s documentary. That’s probably why he didn’t win an Oscar — his movie did more harm than good. Even when his internal organs were failing all I could think about was french fries. Hot, crispy, amazing french fries. It also made me see the flaw in his logic. Of course your body’s going to go apeshit if you only eat McDonald’s for a month, but if I have a 10-piece nugget meal with a large fry and a Shamrock Shake every now and then it’s not going to kill me. In fact, making late-night McD’s runs with my roommate was an honest-to-God bonding experience.
This is three-fold:
1. During the scene in which the kids sit Peter down for dinner, except he can’t see the food because he isn’t using his imagination, I get hungry. The kids reactions to eating air food is so realistic that I see them ingesting it. Especially when that fat kid looks right at Robin Williams and then takes a massive bite of an invisible burger. Oh man. I just drooled on my keyboard…hope it still works. :adjtghvnl; /
2. When Peter finally does see the food, Spielberg pulls the camera back to reveal this feast upon which they are gorging, and it’s just splendid. It’s mainly just marshmallow with food coloring, but f*ck does it look great.
3. Then the food fight ensues. And food fights in any movie (like in Animal House) are always delicious. Bang-a-rang!
Willy Wonka / Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
This should’ve been a pantheon choice, because it’s probably the movie you thought of when you started reading this article. The movie is essentially about candy and how it transforms us (adults become children, children become devious pricks). So we’ll put movies about food into this one as well, like Ratatouille and Chocolat. The goals of these films is essentially to make you hungry and it usually eclipses the storyline itself. For example, the “Golden Ticket” portion of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is great, but more than likely you’ll pop in the DVD and go to the chapter where Gene Wilder limps out of the chocolate factory and does a falling somersault.
Who else feels like a snozzberry right now?
Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle
This could’ve been in the previous one because essentially the movie is a long commercial for White Castle. Except, this movie is for weed what Willy Wonka is for candy. Only when you’re drunk or high (not that I’m promoting either, mind you…) is when you can scarf down those putrid, gross burgers. It’s also what makes the first Harold and Kumar film better than the second (aside from the fact that the jokes are funnier): the stakes are small, yet the characters perception of them is what makes the film work.
Quick story: I lived in a neighborhood of Chicago called Roscoe Village for a couple years. Within a half-mile radius were two burrito places worth visiting. When I was inebriated it became my search for the Holy Grail. I would endure Chicago winters to trek the streets for a shitty steak burrito. One time I got to a place called Tony’s (which is an weird name for a burrito place, right?) and it was 5 minutes after they had closed. My friends and I, drunk and belligerent, decided we would not go quietly into the night without a steak burrito, so we heroically stumbled to Burrito House II which was not an easy 3/4 mile voyage (and also involved cutting through numerous alleyways and backyards covertly). When we got there, the line was 10-deep and loaded with a level of douchery you only get when you go to $20-cover nightclubs. One of my buddies picked a fight, another nearly vomited on a Puerto-Rican gal, and the service was atrocious. But let me tell you one thing: That was the best goddamn burrito I have ever had.
Huffington Post put out a list similar to this one when Julie and Julia came out, which they refer to as “Food Porn Movies.” I don’t know if like that term, “Food Porn.” Those are definitely two things I like to keep separate from each other. But then again, Marlon Brando could easily give you a butter fetish if you watch Last Tango in Paris.
Actually, that’s gross.
I’m gonna go deep-fry my hand and eat it, but in the meantime tell me “What movies make you hungry?”