16 Movies that food porn lovers will drool over

Nov 25, 2014 at 12:30 p.m. ET

Hollywood has the ability to capture food in all its mouthwatering, hunger-inducing, gotta-have-it-now glory. While they might take liberties with the happenings in a kitchen, there are times when movies perfectly capture the beauty, the elegance and the magic of food.

With the upcoming DVD release of The Hundred-Foot Journey on December 2nd, we wanted to take a look at beautiful food-based movies of past and present. These movies elevate simple food to true food pornography so well that we either have to stuff ourselves full of popcorn, or we have to go to a matinee so we can afford to eat out after the show.

1. The Hundred-Foot Journey

Although The Hundred-Foot Journey didn't have huge staying power in the theaters, the film based on the best-selling novel about an up-and-coming Indian-born chef in France seriously holds up. Still, for lovers of food porn, the radical mix of classic Indian dishes and traditional French dishes, both expertly dressed up by Hollywood food stylists, is pretty amazing. Watch the exclusive behind the scenes clip above (featuring Helen Mirren, who takes Manish Dayal's Hassan under her wing as Madame Mallory) to see why we love it.

2. No Reservations

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Cute. Poignant. Surprisingly funny. No Reservations was a surprisingly well-constructed tale of loss/romantic comedy that shows at least some of the hard work, passion and sometimes crude anger that goes into being a chef. In addition, the food visuals are fantastic, and the sight of Catherine Zeta-Jones attacking a patron with a raw steak is worth the price of admission.

3. Babette's Feast

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Considered one of the most brilliant food movies ever, Babette's Feast is the tale of one meal that cost a literal fortune to prepare. Amongst the themes of self-sacrifice, belief and purpose is a menu that has entire Web pages devoted to it.

4. Chocolat

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Chocolat is the story of the transformational power of chocolate. Not that we needed to be told that chocolate makes the world a better place, but we get to see how a simple chocolate store radically reinvents one French village. Plus, we get to see enough delicious chocolate throughout the movie that we need a larger size pair of pants just for watching it.

5. Eat Pray Love

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This movie is divided roughly into thirds, with Julia Roberts tackling each of the movie title's three main words. First she eats, then she prays, then she (spoiler alert) loves. If food porn is all you want, then stop after the first third. If not, then you'll spend most of the time she's practicing Buddhism wondering when they're going to get back to all those pizza-folding money shots.

Spoiler alert again: They never do.

6. Chef

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The perfect plate of pasta? Done. The most luscious grilled cheese sandwich? Done. Between the delicious-looking Cubano sandwiches and more, this film is sure to make your mouth water. Written, directed and starring Jon Favreau, the tale of the restaurant chef turned food truck chef is as heartwarming as it is full of the best food porn scenes around.

7. Jiro Dreams of Sushi

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This documentary should come with a spoiler alert. Once you watch it, every piece of sushi not served by Jiro and not costing a small fortune just won't do. It's not the most exciting documentary, but it's amazing to see what Jiro can do with fish.

8. Spanglish

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Whereas No Reservations was a relatively accurate portrayal of a kitchen, Spanglish is pretty much the idealized version of a kitchen if run by Adam Sandler. Sandler fails to pull off the gravitas of the chef he plays in the movie. However, the bacon and egg sandwich he fixes halfway through the movie and the meal he prepares at the end make you hungry every single time.

9. Kings of Pastry

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Need food porn? How about a film about 16 French pastry chefs competing over three days to make the most delicious desserts possible? This show, which really amps up the tension of winning the Best Craftsman in France competition, blends some humor and a lot of visuals of enough calories to feed a large village for a year.

10. Tampopo

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A Japanese movie about love, noodles and crazy, erotic uses for food, Tampopo is nevertheless one of a number of ways to crave Asian noodle dishes. For food porn lovers, the visuals might feel restrictive, since they revolve only around noodle soup. Still, for most, that should be more than enough as they breathe in Japanese culture and are transported to a place where they can almost smell and taste the soups.

11. Julie & Julia

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It's hard not to include Julie & Julia on this list, as the movie appeared to popularize food cinema for American audiences. However, the director of the film chose to center far more on Julia's and Julie's personal lives over the food, much to the film's detriment. Still, for the food lover out there, the food porn is there, though it can leave you wanting more.

12. Like Water for Chocolate

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Like Water for Chocolate is a heartbreaking tale of love, loss and being bound by tradition, all with amazing food visuals. In the film, Tita cannot marry the man she loves because she is forced to look after her family. Still, she is strangely able to imbue her food with her emotions, which leads to numerous issues. The movie gets high marks for its art and food porn, but it's definitely not a fun film.

13. Simply Irresistible

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In many ways, Simply Irresistible is the American version of Like Water for Chocolate without a lot of the darkness. It's a much more fun romantic comedy, where a struggling chef gains the ability to cast spells on people through the use of a magic crab. It's about as silly as it sounds, but the food visuals are stunning.

14. Last Holiday

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This movie pretty much bombed, as it was a rehash of several prominent themes all done better in other cinema. Still, it was fun and lighthearted, and Queen Latifah is shockingly easy to root for as her kindhearted nature defeats the forces of greed, corruption and not-niceness. Also, some of the food she makes or that is served to her is gorgeous to behold.

15. Goodfellas

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OK, this movie is in no way about food. However, there's one part that makes every gourmand's heart sing. That's the scene in prison in which they're shaving garlic with a razor blade. That scene makes you hungry for pasta every time.

16. Nothing to Lose

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A movie that will make absolutely no other foodie list, but that's OK. Nothing to Lose is a forgettable Martin Lawrence film that even Tim Robbins can't do anything to save. However, there's a scene in the film in which the pair steps into a diner and orders a typical greasy spoon breakfast — eggs, bacon and hash browns — that will literally cause you to pause the movie, drive to the store and make breakfast. Even at 2 in the morning.

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