I love movies about food and cooking. Maybe it’s because I can’t cook? You know what they say about teachers… those who can’t do, teach. Those who can’t cook, eat and watch movies about cooking.
The Good (Chef, The Hundred Foot Journey, Eat Drink Man Woman, Like Water For Chocolate), The Bad (Chocolat, No Reservations, Tortilla Soup), or The Ugly (Simply Irresistible), I just can’t resist. Guilty pleasures like Julie & Julia, Mystic Pizza, Burnt, Waitress and Ratatouille are in heavy rotation.
So there I was on a Monday night, looking for a non-sequel, non-remake in the height of summer blockbuster season. I ran across Ramen Shop at Landmark Midtown Arts Cinema last night.
After a tragic loss in his Japanese hometown, Masato returns to his maternal home in Singapore, and discovers his mother’s past and recipes from her family. The multi-cultural mashup of Japanese, Cantonese and Singaporeean food are a not too subtle backdrop for the emotional journey Masato goes through learning about his family history, including the Japanese occupation of Singapore, which I didn’t know much about.
While the film seems to plod along too slowly, and the flashbacks are oddly mixed in so you never know which time period you are watching, the food porn and Masato’s angst save the scenes. I would love if Miki could give me a foodie tour of Singapore, or I could hang out with Uncle just to hear his zingers.
The reconciliation and forgiveness of family are just as welcome as the fusion of food cultures. You can hear the pleasure in every slurp of ramen at the end. I don’t even like ramen, and I want to try Masato’s creation!
This movie makes me want some home-cooked Indian food, then a trip to Singapore to try all these dishes, and then binge watch Asian food porn movies like Tampopo and God of Cookery.
What are your foodie movies?
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