Easy entertaining: Movie night

Throw a cozy theme night with recipes inspired by foodie flicks

More and more Canadians are opting to watch movies at home rather than treck out to the theatre, and why wouldn’t they? Curling up on the couch in your PJs, with a good flick, good friends and some easy eats is a cheap way to spend an evening.

Make movie night extra-special by planning a theme centred around your pick – we chose two movies about the emotional power of eating and sharing food. Each movie is paired with a no-fuss appetizer or potluck idea – but don’t forget the popcorn, too! Scroll down for other food-related flicks and more movie night themes.


Make sure there’s enough comfy seating for everyone and have some blankets handy for getting cozy. Survey the setting preferences – some people like watching movies in the dark, others prefer a little light. Keep a box of tissues within reach – no one wants to miss anything running to the bathroom to blow her nose.

Like Water For Chocolate (1992)

Adapted from the best-selling book by Laura Esquivel, this award-winning Mexican romance celebrates the idea that when you cook with passion, everyone can taste it. Tita and Pedro are deeply in love, but cannot marry. Tita’s mother demands that Tita remain unmarried so she can stay home to take care of the family. Crushed, Tita pours her sorrow and passion into her cooking – with interesting results. Sensual, romantic and a definite tear-jerker, Like Water For Chocolate will be a hit with your girlfriends, but its sexy factor may not make it suitable for the under-14s.

Easy appetizers

Make a bowl of quick quacamole and open a bag of lime-laced tortilla chips for munching. If you’re planning something a bit more substantial, enchiladas are cheesy comfort food at its best.

Big Night (1996)

Brothers Primo and Secondo move to America with dreams of running a successful Italian restaurant. Despite Primo’s culinary talents and Secondo’s smooth-talking way, with few customers, the restaurant is a failure. Unless something changes, fast, the brothers will have to close up and return to Rome. Desperate to keep the dream afloat, Secondo asks their main competitor, Pascal, for help. He promises to lend them some buzz with an appearance by famed jazz musician Louis Prima, and Primo pours his heart into the menu – but will their “big night” go off without a hitch? Funny, warm and full of heart, Big Night will have you craving Italian, so make this movie night a potluck.


The key to a potluck is organization. Tell your guests exactly what type of dish to bring: an appetizer, side (either vegetable, starch or salad) or dessert. As the host, it’s a nice gesture to make the main course yourself.

Other food-related film ideas

Chocolat (2000) Nominated for best picture, you get Johnny Depp with an Irish accent and lots of chocolate. Is there really anything better?

Eat, Drink, Man, Woman (1994) Oscar-winning director Ang Lee’s (Sense & Sensibility, Brokeback Mountain) Chinese-launguage dramedy about senior chef Mr. Chu, his three daughters and their dysfunctional relationships with food and each other.

Ratatouille (2007) Animated family hit about a gourmet-food-loving rat who lends his talents to a hapless chef in Paris.

Other movie night ideas

Classic books on film (Great Expectations, Vanity Fair)
Makeover movies (The Devil Wears Prada, Miss Congeniality)
Inspired by TV (Starsky & Hutch, Bewitched)