Food and sex — the meat and potatoes of good living — are served up irresistibly in the sensually appetizing Like Water for Chocolate. But variety, to paraphrase the British poet William Cowper, is the spice of movie-viewing life. Here, then, is a menu of options from the video shelves.
MOVIE The Postman Always Rings Twice At a truck stop, a drifter pumps more than gas, and the plot grows increasingly melodramatic.
FOOD Homey comfort food, circa 1930s, is served here as the cuckolding wife kneads dough and bakes bread and the drifter prepares egg-salad sandwiches.
SEX The lovers engage with a vengeance, especially in the homey comfort of the kitchen, where a wooden table is transformed into a copulatory expanse.
MOVIE Tampopo In this Japanese My Fair Lady, an outlaw trucker transforms a weed of a noodle-shop owner into a fully blossomed gourmet.
FOOD Soba is boiled, stirred, and slurped, exposing the complexity of the strands and how the noodle can be the basis for changes with far-reaching effects.
SEX The gangster and his gal pass a simple raw egg yolk in the most sensual manner, and a humble shrimp is the basis for far-reaching sexual effects.
MOVIE The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover A restaurant caters to a larcenous protagonist, his well-bred spouse, and a tribe of troublemakers.
FOOD In the kitchen, cooks transform — with vigor, dedication, and finesse — raw ingredients into sublime creations that adorn the plate and titillate the palate.
SEX Whether copulating in the commode or frolicking amid the food, the wife and her bookworm lover are always going at it with vigor, dedication, and finesse.
MOVIE Delicatessen In a futuristic France hit with food shortages, a deli-owning landlord devises a wacky system for procuring delicacies.
FOOD Cramped living quarters and old-fashioned rationing of sweets, meat, and grain make it difficult to satisfy one of the two favorite French pastimes.
SEX Good old-fashioned, bedspring-creaking lovemaking goes on, which everyone gets to hear, proving that certain appetites can be satisfied without food.