Finals are finally o-v-e-r over, and most college students can now kick back and watch some movies, or even better, movies about food. This newfound free-time can mean getting your relationship back with Netflix (if you had enough willpower to break it off in the first place).

The good news is that you can still delight your foodie-side when choosing a flick. I watched two lively movies about food that are definitely worthy of Spoon approval. So, get comfortable, grab some SkinnyPop (my favorite), and get ready for this delicious double-feature.

1. Tortilla Soup (2001)

pepper, meat, sauce, chili, legume, tomato, vegetable
Katherine Baker

I struck gold when I found this movie written by Ramón Menéndez. It stars Hector Elizondo (who many of us know as Joe from The Princess Diaries- Mia Thermopolis’ limo driver, and the queen’s bodyguard). His name is Martin in this movie, and he plays a restaurant owner and father of three women: Leticia, Carmen, and Maribel. 

It could not have been a more coincidental yet perfect find. I came upon the movie the day before Cinco de Mayo, and it is based around Martin's family of Mexican descent. Each time they gather for Sunday dinner he prepares a huge feast. Talk about getting you in the mood for a fiesta. Watching the film is a great way to appreciate the Mexican culture-although Americans may take the holiday too far sometimes-cinco de drinko?  

herb, vegetable
Sarah Silbiger

The opening scene sparks so many senses. Mexican mariachi music trumpets on and the camera pans from one new ingredient to the next. Chopping, boiling, rinsing, sizzling, and mixing. It is like having the front row seat in a lively, top-notch restaurant. Cactus is even one of the ingredients featured-cactus! When I was in Cancún, Mexico, I had a cactus salad and loved it. Not as prickly as one may think.

The middle daughter, Carmen, takes after her father with a passion for cooking. But, she spices up her meals, adding a fiery zest with ingredients like lime, sun-dried tomatoes, cilantro, tangerine, and cumin-seasoned cabbage.

One of my favorite quotes of the movie comes at the end of the film on a celebratory note. She said, "Do you know why we clink glasses before drinking?... It's so that all the five senses are involved. We touch the glass. We smell the drink. We see its color. We taste it. Hearing is the only sense that doesn't participate unless we create it." This movie did not shy away from embracing all of them either, okay well maybe the sense of smell. But you can just imagine the sweet aroma of grilled corn and tamales.

2. Chef (2014)

Chef is a jam-packed movie full of flavor, humor, and beautiful locations. Also, it pays homage to the lively, colorful Cuban culture. It follows the life of Chef Carl Casper who leaves the restaurant business that was stifling his creativity, to start his own food truck.

The beginning of the movie centers around a harsh food-critique he receives, fueling Chef Casper’s fire to break out from the menu he has been cooking for 10 years and create new entrees like an artist would a painting, falling back into his Miami-roots.

His wife encourages him to open up a food truck and enter that business. He runs with it and is introduced to a whole new culinary world. El Jefe Food Truck is the new name of the game. They specialize in cubanos- Cuban sandwiches made of sizzling ham and melted cheese on a buttery, sub-like roll.  

Along the way they take a detour into New Orleans, Louisiana, indulging in decadent, powdery, fried dough beignets amongst the bustle of the streets that celebrate like it is Mardi-Gras everyday. 

Also, for all of my cheese-lovers out there, the scene I remembered most from the first time I watched it was when he makes his son a grilled cheese sandwich. Basic, I know, but this sandwich looked like the best thing I had ever seen: oozing cheese, butter melting and sizzling on the stove, and a golden glow. 

Finally, I do not want to encourage the wrong kind of study habits by any means... but I wanted to spread the word that the Rollins College's Olin Library has an A-1 movie selection. I was pleasantly surprised and super excited. It was as if I was transported back to when I was a little girl, going to a Blockbuster store on the hunt for a Friday-night movie.

To conclude, each of these movies talk about love and family in addition to food, which I think is a pretty good thing to promote too. So go watch them! Five- stars. I know I can't wait to watch them again.

Here are the movie trailers: