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Movies That Make Us Hungry

It's really freaking hot outside, in case you hadn't noticed. And when it's really freaking hot, we get really freaking lazy (more so than usual) and we want to watch movies. Lots of them. In succession.

Trouble is, movie theaters are crazy-expensive and this summer's movie lineup looks pretty terrible anyway. Much better to line up some Neflix DVDs to be mailed your way or, if you're a little less lazy, drive to your nearest Redbox rental, and park yourself on the couch for a home movie marathon. You might want to stop at the grocery store, too, or at least keep a take-out menu handy, because these food movies are going to make you hungry.

Babette's Feast Not exactly fast-paced, but an all-time favorite. This Danish film juxtaposes luscious images of food against the backdrop of a joyless, straight-laced culture, making a powerful point about the importance of indulging from time to time.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs Scoff if you must, but you owe us $5 when you go out to find the nearest bowl of spaghetti after watching this recent animated movie--ostensibly for kids--with Neil Patrick Harris's voice to boot.

Waitress Even if you don't like pie, you will want some after this. Keri Russell gives an excellent performance as an unhappy wife and reluctant mother-to-be who makes heavenly pies in a small-town diner. Even Mr. Andy Griffith makes an appearance.

Ratatouille If you haven't seen this movie yet, it's probably because you've been living under a rock for the last three years. Either that or you think it must totally suck because it's a Disney movie. About a rat. True, it may not be marketable on the surface, but this movie hits the nail on the head with its climactic "restaurant critic" scene, and everything leading up to that point will wow you and may very well get you into the kitchen to whip something up.

Chocolat In the same vein as Eat Drink Man Woman and Like Water for Chocolate, this film explores the connection between good food and good sex, appetite and desire, Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp, chocolate and sensuality. Need we say more?

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Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (original version) Another chocolate film, and this one, a classic. No one (not even Johnny Depp, over whom we swooned just a paragraph ago), can replicate Gene Wilder's magical twinkle as he welcomes you into "a world of pure imagination." Did you know? In the film, Willy Wonka tells the kids "it's all edible" in the first room they encounter. Turns out, this was true of the actual movie set. And the glimpse of the actors' faces when they heard the news, well, that was the first shot, so the look of surprise was genuine.

Julie & Julia So Amy Adams as Julie is annoying, but Meryl Streep as Julia Child is so divine that it makes up for the whining. Based on the book My Life in France, the "Julia side" of the movie shows Child discovering, falling in love with, and learning to master French cuisine, all with her loving husband Paul at her side.

Big Night Two very different brothers pull out the stops to cook the meal of their life, filling the kitchen and table with all manner of elaborate food and drink. Like all of these films, this one is a reminder that a night of decadence, spent with friends, can be counter-intuitively healthy.

Other favorite films to make our stomachs grumble?

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