Saturday Double Feature: Chef (2014) and…

Okay, let’s start with a quick recap of the “rules”, shall we? The basic idea here is to take a movie that is out in theaters now, and pair it up with another movie from the 1980s or before. Sometimes the connection will be obvious, and sometimes it’ll be a little less so, but that’s part of the fun.

I’m not sure exactly why, but one of my favorite movie sub-genres is what I guess you would call “food” movies, of more specifically perhaps, restaurant movies. Maybe the reason is that they tend to feature people either discovering or trying to perpetuate their true passions in the face of either indifference or outright opposition. For example, one of the movies out in limited release right now is Chef which boasts a surprisingly all-star cast including Jon Favreau, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sofia Vergara, Dustin Hoffman, Oliver Platt and John Leguizamo (the movie was also wrritten and directed by Favreau, which may go a long way to explaining its star power):

Of course, this is not the kind of movie you want to watch if you’re on a diet.

Anyway, besides my l0ve for the genre, I also I decided to feature this one for today’s double feature because it gives me a chance to spotlight another all-time favorite of mine, Juzo Itami‘s 1985 feature Tampopo. It may not be quite so full of star power – though it does boast Ken Watanabe and Tsutomu Yamazaki, among its cast – but it does have one thing going for it that the newer film doesn’t. It is filmdom’s first “ramen western”:

I do feel I should warn you that the the film itself is not quite as straightforward as that trailer suggests, as it takes some very interesting turns and actually brings together some very disparate scenarios. For instance, here is another (unfortunately unsubtitled, though it really doesn’t need them) scene where a number of young ladies are being taught the “proper” way to eat a plate of spaghetti:

Actually, since I’m planning to try to catch Chef sometime this afternoon, and I have Tampopo here on disc, perhaps I’ll have to go ahead and run this as my own personal double feature today.

So how about you? Do you have your own favorite restaurant or “foodie” movie? Obviously, there are a lot of others I could have picked, so I’m curious to see what other pairings you might come up with for this one. Plus, since as I noted above, this is one of my favorite sub-genres, I’m curious to see what suggestions you might have of films that fit it that I might have missed, so please leave your thoughts in the comments, along with ideas of any other upcoming or current movies you’d like to see “double featured” here. Consider it, if you will, your chance to challenge me to come up with an interesting pair.

Until next time, Happy Viewing!

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