This article contains mild spoilers.
It’s hard to beat the simple bliss of watching a great movie while eating a great snack. Together, the two provide a satisfying, mouth-watering and tear-jerking experience in which all the senses are stimulated.
Indeed, movies and snacking are the perfect pair. But why should we be so narrow-minded as to limit ourselves to standard movie fare like popcorn and soda? With movies that have themes or important scenes centered around food, the viewing experience can certainly be elevated with culinary pairings.
Here are four films that are each fantastic in their own right, but even better when viewed with tailored snack suggestions.
1) “Call Me By Your Name”
The inspiration for this list came to me the last time I rewatched this film. Set in the summer of 1983 in northern Italy, the film is drenched in sunlight filtered through overhanging greenery, including the peach trees in Elio’s (Timothée Chalamet) mother’s orchard.
My sister and I thought it would be festive to watch Armie Hammer as the infallibly charming Oliver down glass after glass of apricot juice while having our own juice to sip on. After all, characters all drink from a seemingly endless supply of fresh apricot juice and pick fresh peaches to snack on (except for Elio, who does a little more than just snacking).
So what better way to help transport yourself to the Italian countryside than by snacking on peach pie or cobbler, apricot juice and stone fruit jams made with nectarines, peaches and apricots?
By the time the credits roll and you’re sobbing to Sufjan Stevens alongside Elio, you’ll at least have some fruity treats to comfort you.
2) “Phantom Thread”
Set in 1950s London, “Phantom Thread” is the visually breathtaking and deliciously slow-burning story of the relationship between neurotic, controlling dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel Day-Lewis) and his muse Alma (Vicky Krieps). Watching the power dynamic between the two, which often unfolds over scenes centered around food, is intoxicating.
Despite being a drama, there are moments in the film that are laugh-out-loud funny, including a confrontation over dinner between the two sparked by Alma’s preparation of the asparagus.
While asparagus (prepared with butter, not oil and salt!) is a decent snack pairing for the film, one would be foolish not to also include a mushroom omelette, cooked in ample amounts of sizzling butter.
When the climactic omelette-eating scene rolls around, take a bite of your omelette while Daniel Day-Lewis takes a bite of his — just be sure the mushrooms in yours aren’t quite as poisonous.
3) “Paddington 2”
It’s difficult to get through two hours of watching the most lovable bear (or Hugh Grant in the best role of his career) on the big screen without at least cracking a smile. But it would definitely be impossible if you were simultaneously snacking on a marmalade sandwich.
In “Paddington 2,” Paddington Bear is happily settled with the Brown family and adjusting to life in London, until he’s framed for a crime and ends up in prison.
Paddington quickly makes friends, however, by teaching the chef how to make his signature marmalade sandwiches.
Oranges, a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of cinnamon and sugar are all you need to make Paddington’s orange marmalade. But if you feel like getting creative, jam sandwiches of any flavor would pair perfectly with this sweet film.
Perhaps one of the most iconic food-themed films ever, “Ratatouille” follows Remy, a rat with a highly developed sense of smell and a taste for gourmet cuisine. After being separated from his family, he stumbles upon the famous Paris eatery Gusteau’s and, through an unlikely partnership with the restaurant’s garbage boy Linguini, gets to live his dream of being a chef.
While ratatouille might be the obvious snacking choice (and, speaking from experience, certainly not a bad one), a scene in which Remy experiences new flavors by eating cheese and strawberries together inspires another snack pairing — a charcuterie board.
The film brilliantly conveys the different flavors and their combinations through bursts of sound, colors and shapes when Remy closes his eyes to focus solely on taste. In the spirit of trying new flavors, fill your board with a variety of meats, cheeses, fruits, nuts, jams, crackers and breads and try as many different flavor pairings as possible.
Remy and Chef Gusteau would be proud!
Rachael Diamond SC ’21 is TSL’s film columnist. She’s a philosophy major who enjoys ranting about movies to anyone who will listen.