Varsity staff and writers discuss their favourite food on film moments

Bridget Jones’ Diary: Blue soup

It is a universally acknowledged truth that I am a very lacking chef. The weekly ritual of me burning muffins has become an integral part of my week; my endeavours at making “creative” (read: lethal) dishes of foods that should never be combined have become emblematic of my tragic kitchen persona. Therefore, when Bridget Jones uses blue string in her potato leek soup in Bridget Jones’ Diary — resulting in a bright, cyan concoction — I always feel pure allegiance to her.

Mr. Darcy saves the day by helping her cook up some omelettes to serve with marmalade. It reassures me that Mr. Darcy remains smitten with Bridget — and indeed, is charmed by the incident. The dinner guests raise a toast to the chef over their creatively coloured plates: “To Bridget, who cannot cook, but who we love, just as she is.” I swoon every time.

— Danielle Klein


Ponyo: Ramen and ham

This scene, from Miyazaki’s whimsical interpretation of The Little Mermaid, is a subtle pause in the overall chaos of the movie, which results from the massive storm that hits the small seaside town it is set in. While instant ramen noodles may be considered a dreaded student staple at our current age, they often remembered fondly, as a childhood treat (especially for those who grew up with some Asian influence in their lives). Ponyo, who is not a human child, is excited by the prospect of this quick and delicious meal, and her reaction is a stark reminder of how little things can cause great joy and amazement, and that we should all take more time to adopt a childlike sense of wonder towards the small delights of life. The valuable message here is only further elevated by the beautiful artwork that is the backbone of all of Miyazaki’s films.

—    Jamieson Wang


Shrek 2:Dinner food fight

There are few moments more nerve-wracking in life than the first dinner with the parents of your significant other. Nothing else embodies this feeling as well as the dinner fight scene in Shrek 2, between Fiona’s parents and Donkey, Shrek, and Fiona.

The awkward build-up of tension sets up the fight and is inter-cut with Donkey’s ever-hilarious remarks. A pleasant violin piece acts as the perfect soundtrack, keeping the humour intact with a spunky rhythm amid the demolishing of lobster, chicken, fish, and more. The massacre of the feast is punctuated by Queen Lillian’s downcast remark, “it’s so nice to have the family over for dinner,” as crackers fly across her head. The fight culminates in the wreckage of the roast pig, and is topped off by the final flourish in the upbeat soundtrack. The pacing and hilarity of this short scene makes it a flawless cinematic hit, and definitely a personal favourite.

—    Linh Nguyen


Inglorious Basterds: Strudels

One of my favourite food scenes comes from Inglorious Basterds, when Colonel Hans Landa orders strudel for himself and Shoshanna. Although the scene offers a bit of food porn — with particular emphasis on the cream, it is actually quite disconcerting. What seems like an innocent strudel represents something much darker: the fear of being discovered, especially with a glass of milk ordered on the side. Even though I laughed at certain parts of the film (attender la crème!), the strudel is always there to remind me that appearances are seldom what they seem. At any moment, Landa can have anybody carried off, never to be seen again — just like the strudel he happily devours in this scene.

—    Vivian Xie


Matilda: Bogtrotter takes the cake

I have come to realize that my favourite childhood movies also contain my favourite food on film moments. The 1996 adaptation of Road Dahl’s Matilda might have been a major dud at the box office, but the scene where headmistress Trunchbull punishes the student Bruce Bogtrotter with chocolate cake, in retribution for some sneaky snacking, will always be a winner. When Trunchbull demands a confession for Bogtrotter’s alleged cake theft, he cheekily replies, without flinching: “My mom’s [cake] is better.” Determined to have the last laugh, Trunchbull forces Bogtrotter to not only have just once slice of what has got to be the most decadent slice of cake in children’s movie history, but to eat the entire cake — which looks large enough to feed the entire school. The heroine, Matilda, jumps out of her seat and starts to cheer Bogtrotter on, and the rest of the school joins her. Ultimately, Bogtrotter is triumphant, and polishes off the entire cake.

— Katrina Vogan

Stay up to date. Sign up for our weekly newsletter, sent straight to your inbox:

* indicates required