2007: the year of the foodie movie?

Of course The Squad loved the Pixar movie Ratatouille. It had everything, good guys, bad guys, obstacles overcome, and dreams achieved. Pixar did an outstanding job capturing the beauty and activity of the kitchen. They even managed to express the sense of taste with images and sound. Best of all, there is a cute little rat who dreams of being a chef.

Later this summer, Hollywood brings us another movie with foodie potential, albeit one with an unlikely story. Catherine Zeta Jones stars as a chef in No Reservations. (Catherine Zeta Jones? What’s next? Rachel Ray? Give me the rat any day.)

Actually, this doesn’t look any worse than any other fish-out-of-water romantic comedy. I haven’t paid much attention to the movie, but the preview is interesting. Jones is an aunt who suddenly finds herself with custody of her young niece (Abigail Breslin, whose career miraculously survived Signs).

At the same time, at work, Jones’s chef character finds herself conflicting with another chef (Aaron Eckhart). They even use that old comedy standby, the line of tape dividing “my side” from “your side”. This time though, it’s their mise en place that they are dividing. This one might be worth checking out when it hits cable.

The Squad doesn’t get out to movies like we should. From everything I have heard, we are missing out on a beautiful movie, Waitress. Keri Russell plays Jenna, a young waitress stuck in an unhappy marriage. Jenna is a brilliant maker of pies. She names her pastries based on events in her life, leading to creations like “Kick in the Pants” pie and “I Don’t Want Earl’s Baby” quiche.

While Jenna’s creations don’t have the magic realism effects of the dishes from Like Water for Chocolate, the movie itself is said to be a lovely fairy tale. With talents like Nathan Fillion, Cheryl Hines, Jeremy Sisto, and Andy Griffith, I don’t doubt it.

Sadly, the movie’s writer/director, Adrienne Shelly, was murdered before the movie was released. Seeing the movie will be a bittersweet experience, but we are looking forward to it.

The most wonderful night of the year
Waltz on the Square, Oxford