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THERE ARE PLENTY OF FILMS where food is the star like Babette’s Feast and Julie and Julia. But when food’s a supporting role it adds flavor, humor and a glimpse into the characters. Here are some of my favorites.  The opening credits of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory jingle the taste buds as rows of freshly made Hershey Kisses travel to their silver wrapping. The last shot is a parade ofnakedMallomars being enrobedina shower of chocolate. It takes my breath away.

 Surly waitress? Take a lesson from Jack. As Robert Eroica Dupea in Five Easy Pieces he’s quintessential Nicholson. He orders breakfast with a side of toast. (here’s an edited version) Waitress: We don’t serve side orders of toast. Robert: Give me a chicken salad sandwich on toast. Hold the mayonnaise and lettuce.

Waitress: You want me to hold the chicken, huh? Robert: I want you to hold it between your knees.

 Another ordering nightmare for any waitperson is Meg Ryan’s Sally in When Harry Met Sally. We see the core of her character as she orders. Sally: ...but I’d like the pie heated, and I don’t want the ice cream on top. I want it on the side, and I’d like strawberry instead of vanilla if you have it; if not, then no ice cream, just whipped cream but only if it’s real. If it’s out of the can, then nothing.” Oy.

 PaulNewman asCoolHand Luke bets he can eat 50 hard-boiled eggs in an hour. And he does. I couldn’t eat a hard-boiled egg for years after seeing that film. A favorite quote yet off the subject. “What we’ve got here — is a failure to communicate.”

 “I don’t speak shellfish,” Alvie Singer (Woody Allen) says almost apologetically when Annie Hall (Diane Keaton) asks him to recapture an escaped lobster that crawled behind the ‘fridge. Speak shellfish — funny.

 John Belushi as Bluto Blutarsky in Animal House stuffs a ball of cottage cheese in his mouth. “See if you can you guess what I am now?” He squirts it out of his mouth. “I’m a zit, get it?” This scene is followed by a food fight that deserves mention but ranks third cinematically behind any Three Stooges or Marx Brothers film.

 By this time in the film it’s clear which character fills which stereo - type, but the lunch scene in The Breakfast Club cements who they are. As they take out their lunches, the rich snob eats sushi while the crazy kid eats a pixie stick and a Captain Crunch sandwich.

 Think grapefruit — think gangster as Tom Powers (James Cagney) squishes a half of a grapefruit into girlfriend Mae Clarke’s face in Public Enemy.

64 January 2011 | LIFESTYLE

 Oscar (Walter Matthau) the slob of the pair in Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple wants to play poker. Felix (Jack Lemon) the neat- freak serves dinner. Oscar: Now kindly remove that spaghetti from my poker table. [Felix laughs]

Oscar: The hell’s so funny? Felix: It’s not spaghetti, it’s linguini.

[Oscar picks up the linguini and hurls it against the kitchen wall] Oscar: Now it’s garbage. The camera stays on the wall as the pasta and sauce roll slowly

down the kitchen wall. Funny stuff. Expect nothing less from writer, Neil Simon. But the scene that sends me into hysterics (literally) every

time is in the deli when Felix keeps trying to clear his sinuses. Fmuh! Fmuh!

 Food wraps up the plot in Kramer vs. Kramer. After mom Joanna Kramer (Meryl Streep) walks out on her family, Ted (Dustin Hoffman), the never-home workaholic husband, makes French toast with his son Billy (Justin Henry) for the first time. It’s a disaster. Cut to the film’s end just as he has to give over custody to his ex-wife. Father and son make French toast. This time they work side-by-side in perfect harmony. The arc is complete.

 Adam Sandler gives a compelling performance as chef John Claskey in James Brook’s Spanglish. Mother-in-law Cloris Leachman is a hoot, Tea Leoni is hysterical as a hyper housewife and Paz Vega is stunning as the housekeeper/romantic interest. In a slow, delicious scene Sandler makes “The World’s Greatest Sandwich.” Sadly, when he sits down to eat all hell breaks loose in his home and the sandwich sits and congeals. But yours doesn’t have to. The World’s Greatest Sandwich 3-4 slices of bacon 2 slices of Monterey Jack cheese 2 slices of toasted rustic country bread 1 tbsp of mayo 4 tomato slices 2 leaves of butter lettuce 1 teaspoon butter 1 egg Enjoy!

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