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Top 10 Movies Featuring Chinese Food


What could be better than indulging your love of Chinese cuisine while being entertained at the same time? Here are a few of the more memorable Chinese food movie scenes with links to purchasing them online. The first five are my favorites; the last five were sent in by readers. At the bottom of the page are appetizer recipes.

Do you have a favorite Chinese food movie scene? Feel free to send me an email at chinesefood@aboutguide.com. Hopefully, we'll soon have enough for a "Top 20" list!

1. "Eat Drink Man Woman" (1994)

This classic film by director Ang Lee looks at the relationship between a chef and his three daughters. Food plays a prominent role in the film - it's a treat just to watch the father (one of Taiwan's best chefs) making elaborate preparations for Sunday dinner with his daughters, or supervising the action in his restaurant kitchen. An excellent film.
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2. "The Joy Luck Club" (1993)

The film version of Amy Tan's classic novel exploring the relationship between three mothers and daughters. Many scenes take place around the kitchen table - Given the role food plays in Chinese culture, it's not surprising that many scenes take place in the kitchen or around the dinner table.
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3. "A Christmas Story" (1983)

One of my favorite Christmas movies - without giving too much away there's a great scene involving a duck dinner at a Chinese restaurant.
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4. "Mickey Blue Eyes" (1999)

Set in New York, this film features British heartthrob Hugh Grant as an auctioneer who makes the mistake of marrying into the mob. Again, I don't want to give too much away, but there is a wickedly funny proposal scene that takes place at a Chinese restaurant.
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5. "The Firm" (1993)

Based on the John Grisham novel, this movie is about a recent law school graduate (Tom Cruise) who finds an offer of employment by a Memphis law firm too good to pass up. The food scene comes near the beginning of the film, when Cruise and his wife (played by Jeanne Tripplehorn) celebrate his new job with Chinese take-out.
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6. "The Four Seasons" (1981)

Four couples always vacation together. The opening trip is a weekend together and the guys are doing the cooking in a cabin somewhere. They make Chinese food, and the kitchen is a smoking mess, with woks clattering, food tossing and chef getting in each others way! It is funny! I forgot what they made, but it is a wonderful scene.(Submitted by Jo-Ann)

7. "That Thing You Do!" (1996)

Guy Patterson, played by Tom Everett Scott, seals the deal with Mr. White for the band to record with Playtone Records in a Chinese Restaurant in Pittsburgh.(Submitted by Coco)
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8. "Catch Me If You Can" (2002)

The Tom Hanks character usually works every Christmas in the FBI office and eats take-out Chinese food ... a rather sad reality for this man estranged from his family.(Submitted by Kimberley)
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9. "Lethal Weapon 4" (1998)

Uncle Benny's "front" is his Chinese restaurant & Mel Gibson & Chris Rock chase down the bad guys in Chinatown.(Submitted by Elizabeth)
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10. "Rush Hour 2" (2001)

Rush Hour 2 with Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker actually takes place in Hong Kong, so they talk about Chinese food a lot and a restaurant is another front for their operations.(Submitted by Elizabeth)
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