Posted 28 June 2005 - 07:32 PM
I took a course in college at Johnson and Wales called Food in Film and Literature. The objective of the class was to determine the significance of food in movies and books.
The criteria that we used were if food (or anything that had to do with food or the consumption of food, i.e. burping, stomach aches, using the restroom) was removed from teh film, did that have a significant impact on the outcome or plot of the movie? Were any characters directly linked to food or eating? When food was present, what events happened, and what effect did the food have on the scene?
My final project was on the movie Dumb and Dumber. It was my job to determine whether or not it was a food film according to the criteria above. After watchign the movie 6 times in a row with my group (a feat, let me tell you, all in a row, all at once, all day on a Saturday), we found that there were over 400 references to food in the movie. Food was used to set the tone for the two main characters idiocy (think back to the movie: "Let's throw another shrimp on the Barbie" and "Footlong, who's got the footlong?"). We determined that the movie was in fact, a food film based upon the fact that when the thug Joe Mentalino ("Mental") catches up to Lloyd and Harry, he intends to kill them and retrieve his breifcase full of money, but they feed him a burger filled with hot peppers, enflaming his ulcer, and finally, feeding him rat poison which they believe is his medicine. If the man had not eaten the burger, he would have killed them, and consequently, the movie would have ended, and therefore, drastically changed the plot of the movie. And who can forget the other great food scenes in the movie? Think back once again; the laxative scene, the benefit dinner, "Kick his ass, Seabass", boilermakers, and the beer bottle incident.
In fact, with these criteria, there aren't many movies that aren't considered food movies. We discussed Pulp Fiction ("Royalle with Cheese" talk) and determined that it too, was a food movie becuase whenever something of impact or killing was to happen, someone in teh scene was eating or at a restaurant. We discussed that Brad Pitt is almost ALWAYS eating in every scene he is in, in almost every movie he has made in the last 10 years (Oceans 11 and 12 were not out at the time, but those are definately food films if you ask me).
So, while not food themed, in fact, by definition according to a handfull of professors out there who are way smarter than me, they are food films.
As for me, I hate the movie dumb and dumber now. Too bad, it was pretty funny a long time ago....
Owner, Big Wheel Provisions