Some people can’t decide what the best food scene in a movie is. The titular feast from Babette’s Feast? The meditative timpano scene in Big Night? The opening sequence of Eat Drink Man Woman? The coitally-charged egg yolk exchange in Tampopo?
Please. This is a point of endless, somewhat obnoxious contention, and it need not be. As both a cinephile and a food writer, I’ll set the record straight. I’ll tell you what the best food scene in the history of cinema is: the iconic popcorn seduction sequence from Troll 2, the famously terrible 1990 movie that stars an Alabama dentist with no prior acting experience in one of its principal roles.
Watch as our haggard villainess-turned-sultry vixen, Creedence, seduces a horned-up teenager using a cob of corn she miraculously turns into a trailer’s worth of popcorn.
This scene’s got some real zingers (“I’m not a program,” Creedence whispers to the boy while speaking to him through the television, his jaw agape at the sight of this buxom corn seductress. “I’m real.”) and thrilling dramatic crescendoes. Christ, that look she gives the camera as she lifts her garter, cob in hand!
Incredible. Imagine the level of skill it takes to condense so much into the span of, what, four minutes? Serious fucking kudos to director Claudio Fragasso; you've stretched the limits of the medium in a way few give you credit for.
Watching this scene, I’m reminded of what the great food writer MFK Fisher once wrote: “Since we must eat to live, we might as well do it with both grace and gusto."
Grace? Gusto? This scene’s got them both in spades.