Double feature: You’ve heard of drowning your feelings in food, but how about drowning your food in feelings? “Waitress” and “Like Water for Chocolate” both feature protagonists who channel the current of their emotions into the food they prepare for others.
The heroines of both films lavish thought and attention on their meal- and menu-planning. Their dishes are not only reflections of their inner states, but also moves in their chess game of interaction with the external world. Neither protagonist has much control over the structural circumstances of her life, but both find that they can exert influence over others through their culinary creations.
The two films diverge in explaining the source of this power: is it enabled by magical forces, or given agency through the sheer force of its maker’s feelings? Does the cooking function as sublimation, or direct communication? The answers may not be easily grasped, but the questions are delicious.
For a marathon: “Waitress” and “Like Water for Chocolate” both make the case for thoughtful, expert cooking…but sometimes equally wondrous meals are produced via improvisation and amateur enthusiasm. “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” is charming proof thereof.
(Creative Commons licensed original images courtesy of “sciondriver” and “kali.ma” at Flickr)