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
Eraserhead is a 1977 American experimental body horror film directed by David Lynch. Henry Spencer (Jack Nance) tries to survive his industrial environment, his angry girlfriend (Charlotte Stewart), and the unbearable screams of his newly born mutant child. ...more on Wikipedia
Actors: Jack Nance, Jeanne Bates, Jack Fisk, Charlotte Stewart, Judith Anna Roberts, + more
Directed by: David Lynch
The Godfather is a 1972 American crime film directed by Francis Ford Coppola, based on the novel by Mario Puzo. The aging patriarch (Marlon Brando) of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son (Al Pacino). ...more on Wikipedia
Actors: Al Pacino, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, James Caan, + more
Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola