Simple irresistible (1999)
‘Simple Irresistible’ is a movie about Amanda, played by Sarah Michelle Gellar. Receive magical help from a crab. (Yes, a crab.) Amanda is a chef whose little restaurant is slowly failing. He has inherited it from his mother, but he does not have the trust of his mother. He uses his mother’s recipes and customs and therefore fails to keep up with modern expectations.
The crab plays matchmaker and put her 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 in the relationship, he thinks 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 fears and doubts and end up together?
In ‘Chocolat’ witchcraft is merely implicit. The viewer understands that Vianne (Juliette Binoche), the new chocolatier from a small French town, is a witch, because her chocolate has magical properties.
She begins to improve the lives of the villagers from the moment she moves in with her daughter. The village is very conservative, and most of the villagers are horrified as much by the recklessness of the newcomers as by the magic and decadence they bring into the lives of the villagers.
‘Chocolat’ not only touches on Vianne’s love life, but speaks of the love of parents and children, friends and long-time married couples. Additionally, it talks about how prejudice and xenophobia can result in life-threatening situations in tight-knit small communities.
That said, “Chocolat” is a romantic, warm, and generally 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 runs away to America to live with a friend, Monica (Harold Perrineau). Isabella’s cooking inspires a television producer to create a cooking show, ‘Passion Food’, for her.
Back in Salvador, Toninho’s restaurant collapses without Isabella’s kitchen. In desperation, Toninho curses Yemanja, the goddess of love and the seas. Yemanja responds by keeping fish out of the sea around the town, so that local fishermen don’t fish.
Toninho goes after Isabella to win her back, but Isabella in turn has asked Yemanja to harden her heart against love, a request that Yemanja responded to. As Isabella is now unable to feel anything, all of Toninho’s efforts to get her back are unsuccessful. 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 Yemanja forgive?
The film is resolved 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’, ‘Chocolat’ and ‘Woman on Top’.
‘Like Water for Chocolate’ tells the story of a Mexican family. The family has a tradition that the youngest daughter remains 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 instead, so he can stay close to Tita.
When Tita cooks, all her feelings are infused into the food and the story takes some surprising twists. Some of the twists are so much fun, some sad, and some horrible.
‘Like Water For 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 good snacks, or a good dinner that you and your guests can enjoy during or after the movie. because these movies will whet your appetite.