Having food while watching a film is a staple of modern human culture. It can be done by visiting the store and grabbing some stuff before you arrive at a friend’s house, ordering some takeaway directly to you or grabbing something at the counter at the cinema. Food in film can be seen in numerous ways, as it can be used to set the mood, create some comedy or simply give the characters something to do. Restaurants make a great setting for many scenes and there are many famous restaurant moments in films and here are some of the best.
Robin Williams’ 1993 comedy Mrs Doubtfire has achieved a legendary status. It shows off William’s skills as a comic, with him taking on dual roles. Being able to convey two different characters but are still the same person is pulled of masterfully and it is at it’s best at the restaurant scene. William’s character Daniel Hillard finds himself at a restaurant as both his aliases and so must switch between the two when with his family or a potential employer. Putting on the costume and then taking it off, getting the two mixed up and the craziness that ensues makes this one of the most memorable and enjoyable parts of the whole film.
Pulp Fiction was a smash hit in in 1994, making over twenty-five times it’s £8 million budget. It would create a slew of imitators and make director Quentin Tarantino a household name. The twists and turns of a plot in the day in the life of some gangsters, with it’s harsh violence and quick dialogue makes it a great film. The restaurant scene in Pulp Fiction has hit-man Vincent Vega (John Travolta) care taking Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman). The fifties style diner plays an important part as the two exchange words about milkshakes that underlines more lofty ideas. The following dance number is even more iconic.
Sticking with gangsters, the 1990 Scorsese classic contains one of the best restaurant scenes in any film. The movie covers the story of Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) and his companions over the course of twenty-five years. The most famous bit of the film occurs when the gang are at a dinner and Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci), a violent man who’s quick to anger, asks the immortal question “How am I funny?” This intense scene has the actors show their mastery as they attempt to diffuse the situation and answer DeVito without insulting him. It’s one of the best parts of any film and uses the restaurant setting as a contrast from a light-hearted moment to a dangerous one.
The Lonely Guy
In may not be as famous as the others, but the restaurant scene from 1984’s comedy The Lonely Guy is a simple and funny moment. Steve Martin’s character Larry Hubbard finds himself dining alone in a restaurant and has to deal with the literal spotlight. As he announces he’s eating by himself, every diner stares at him for the rest of the scene, with a light following him to his table. It highlights the awkwardness and almost taboo that can come with eating alone, with Martin staying awkwardly calm and charming throughout a very amusing part of the movie.
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