by Ellis M
Dinner scenes can often be an important and core part of a film, it’s a chance for the film or the hero or heroine to tell their story or be sad, emotional and unwrap the moral of the film, it gives us a breather moment before they go kick some ass, a classic ‘calm before the storm’ moment, or in some cases the storm before the calm and we love them because we eat dinner every night – granted, it may be in a pot containing noodles and not at a table but a TV tray – we can relate to these intense moments of glory, sadness or revelation because we’ve all had them, or a glimpse of them, at some point.
Beetlejuice (1988) The Banana Song by Harry Belafonte is most probably the best song created (alongside every other calypso song). I think what we can learn from this scene, is that if you’re ever placed in a ghost/spirit/paranormal scenario in your life time, just go with the flow maaaan, let yourself be free and wonderful kooky things could happen to you… do not fight it.
American Beauty (1999) – Yeah, yeah, we all know this is about Lester finding himself but doesn’t this particular scene just ring a bell, at one time or another, a contrast of hot and cold family dinners, one night you’re a piece of evil disappointment and the next moment you’re suddenly silenced into watching two real, long-term adults, argue at something other than you and it freaks you out. Which is why, later on, Jane calls her parents freaks.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) – An incredibly disturbing dinner table scene, not suitable for a meal time watch.
Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) – This scene sets me on edge and I almost feel I need to skip it because every time I get flustered watching Mrs Doubtfire herself become flustered running from table to table. Why, oh why, was the interview and birthday meal planned for the same night, Gah! (Unfortunately, this clip doesn’t show the full flusterous-ness of Mrs D changing to be in two places at once, sos)
Alien (1979) – The chest burster dinner table scene in this fantasy classic has you thinking about all the times you ate suspicious foods. Is there an alien living in me just sneakily waiting to burst through me!? Please, no!
Hook (1991) – When Peter forgot how to use his imagination and then gains it again after some name calling around the table (some of which I still use – ‘In your face camel cake!’) and then all the foods appear, yippee! Note to self; always carry imagination for those times I’m stuck on a bus with no food.
Five Easy Pieces (1970) – You know when you ask for just a tiny bit of menu re-arranging and get the death stare and you’re 80% sure your foods deffo gonna come with floor juice and dandruff. ‘What do you mean you don’t make side orders of toast? You make sandwiches don’t cha?’ Jack knows the struggle all too well, he’s done this before.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) – Another dinner scene we can relate to, disappointing food, disappointing family.
Eraserhead (1977) – Nothing can compare to this dinner scene and I have never looked at Poussin the same way ever since. Pour Henry looks so over whelmed with life, did he cut the chicken wrong? Was it the chicken that told Mary’s mother about Henry and Mary’s sexual relations? Many questions fill my mind every time I watch this.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) – First shaving foam, then mashed potatoes, my mum always told me not to play with my food even if it is to reconstruct an alien mountain. Roy is having a mental breakdown and he just ‘can’t even’ #CANTEVEN!
When Harry Met Sally (1989) – The dinner table scene that makes us all feel we need to turn the volume down; Meg Ryan and her orgasm. This is Megs most famous scene to date, that obviously, was kinda tepid on the first take, but after Rob Reiner, the director, showed her what he wanted, she got the big O down – After seeing Reiner act out an orgasm, I’m sure it would encourage a n y one!
Scary Movie 2 (2001) – The ‘my germs!’ most disgusting dinner scene that got everyone repeating it throughout the year of 2001, literally can barely even watch.
Reservoir Dogs (1992) – There’s always someone that doesn’t pay their way, for goodness sake! You wanna end up like Mr Pink!? I reckon if he tipped without hesitation, he wouldn’t have ended up a bloody mess at the end of this film because good karma would be on his side.
Silver Linings Playbook (2012) – Now this is just comfortable. It’s like putting on a dressing gown that’s just come off the ironing board because we all know it too well. A supposedly calm, mid-week meal that ends with an altercation and an accusation of harassment…
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) – Don’t you hate it when you’re served prawn cocktail at a dinner party? We feel your pain, Willie.
The Godfather (1972) – Last but not least, when Michael kills Sollozzo and McCluskey at Louis’ restaurant. This is what Sollozo says to Michael right before he is shot:
Sollozo: ‘Everything all right? I respect myself, understand? I cannot allow another man to hold me back. What happened was unavoidable. I had the unspoken support of the other Family dons. If your father were in better health, without his eldest son running things, no disrespect intended, we wouldn’t have this nonsense. We will stop fighting until your father is well and can resume bargaining. No vengeance will be taken, we will have peace, but your Family should interfere no longer.’
Got any dinner table scenes that should be added? Give us a gab and a bab with comments below!