Eating dinner might not seem like the most exciting activity to depict onscreen, but the best dinner scenes in movies prove otherwise. Filmmakers like to use them because it's a chance to demonstrate things about the characters to the audience. Such moments are an easy way to get the story's players together, have them reveal motivations through their dialogue, and help set the stage for developments still to come. These are times when the characters can just talk. If the writing is sharp, they can be just as exciting as any action scene.
Some of the most famous dinner scenes in movies are comedic. If you've ever seen The Nutty Professor, you won't forget how funny the Klumps were at the table. Fans of Talladega Nights concur that Ricky Bobby's pre-pizza and fried chicken prayer is one of the funniest scenes in the movie. Other dinner scenes are more dramatic. The one in American Beauty goes a long way toward establishing the inner rage that the lead character barely suppresses. Then there's the 1981 classic My Dinner with Andre, which is nothing but a dinner scene -- one that runs 110 minutes.
Get yourself something to eat and vote up your favorite dinner scenes from the list below, whether comedic, dramatic, or even musical.
The Nutty Professor is a 1996 American slapstick science-fiction comedy film directed by Tom Shadyac, and a remake of the 1963 film, which starred Jerry Lewis. Grossly overweight yet good-hearted professor Sherman Klump (Eddie Murphy) takes a special chemical that turns him into the slim but obnoxious Buddy Love. ...more on Wikipedia
Actors: Eddie Murphy, Jada Pinkett Smith, Dave Chappelle, James Coburn, Larry Miller, + more
Directed by: Tom Shadyac
Beetlejuice is a 1988 American fantasy-comedy-horror film directed by Tim Burton. The spirits of a deceased couple (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) are harassed by an unbearable family that has moved into their home, and hire a malicious spirit (Michael Keaton) to drive them out. ...more on Wikipedia
Actors: Alec Baldwin, Winona Ryder, Geena Davis, Michael Keaton, Jeffrey Jones, + more
Directed by: Tim Burton
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby is a 2006 American sports comedy film directed by Adam McKay. Number one NASCAR driver Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell) stays atop the heap thanks to a pact with his best friend and teammate, Cal Naughton (John C. Reilly), Jr., but when a French Formula One driver (Sacha Baron Cohen) makes his way up the ladder, Ricky Bobby's talent and devotion are put to the test. ...more on Wikipedia
Actors: Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Amy Adams, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jane Lynch, + more
Directed by: Adam McKay
Meet the Parents is a 2000 American comedy film directed by Jay Roach. Male nurse Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) meets his girlfriend's parents before proposing, but her suspicious father (robert De Niro) is every date's worst nightmare. ...more on Wikipedia
Actors: Robert De Niro, Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Blythe Danner, Teri Polo, + more
Directed by: Jay Roach