Oklahoma Contemporary
The Menu
Two people are standing in a restaurant kitchen, one a chef with a chef's coat, the other in a strappy pink dress. They are looking at one another, in conversation. Behind them we see other chefs working.

New Light

April 14, 2023

#FridayFilms: The Art of Food

Tasty views just for you

Two young people dressed in striped blue and white shirts and matching hats are making silly, smiling faces at the camera. The two are holding two burgers in front of them.
Good Burger (1997)

What better way to slide into the weekend than with a new edition of #FridayFilms?! That’s right, folks: We’re coming at you with staff-picked, quirky, complex and surprising films, inspired by The Art of Food, of course! Bonus: There is a binge-worthy series in here, too!

This week’s films consider the impact of food — in the kitchen, in society, in history, in our lives, in our relationships — and its consequences and benefits. Bon appétit!

Last Holiday (2006) | Comedy, romance | PG-13 | 1 hour 52 minutes

Georgia Byrd is a shy, unassuming salesperson in the cookware department at Kragen's Department Store in New Orleans and a Baptist choir singer who longs to cook professionally. Upon learning she has a terminal illness, Georgia decides to sell all of her possessions and live it up — and befriend the chef, staff and guests — at a posh Central European hotel.

Last Holiday is a feel-good, clean and funny film that all ages can enjoy! Plus Queen Latifah and LL Cool J are amazing together!

Available on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Paramount Plus

- Beth CreMeens, registrar

Big Night (1996) | Drama, romance | R | 1 hour 49 minutes

Anyone who has worked in an upscale restaurant will love this movie. Stanley Tucci, who directed, co-wrote and stars in this film, is a real-life foodie, and it shows. Tucci’s character works the front of house, while his brother (Tony Shalhoub) works in the kitchen as the chef. (Minnie Driver and Isabella Rossellin co-star.) The balance between “the customer is always right” and the chef’s belief that he is always right, with the maître d acting as the mediator, is spot on.

After serving customers who Shalhoub sees as undeserving of his culinary talent, they learn that a famous jazz singer is coming to the restaurant, so they plan the “big night” that will culminate with the star of the dinner, the timpano.

Available on Amazon Prime, DIRECTV, Google Play

- Steve Boyd, exhibits manager

The Menu (2022) | Comedy, horror, thriller | R | 1 hour 47 minutes

Hungry for satire? The Menu serves up laughs, terror, shock and a plate filled with social commentary in under two hours. One of the latest eat-the-rich offerings (Parasite, Triangle of Sadness, season four of You), the flick sends a smattering of the very wealthy to an exclusive island for the meal of a lifetime. The cinematography is gorgeous, Hong Chau is again remarkable, and Ralph Fiennes is as awful as the diners he’s skewering (look for the literal). Will you like any of the characters? Probably not. Will you be surprised (if you’ve managed to avoid spoilers this long)? Definitely. Will it make your stomach growl? I’m still craving s’mores.

Available on HBO Max, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Apple TV

- Lori Brooks, director of communications

Good Burger (1997) | Comedy, family | PG | 1 hour 35 minutes

High school slacker Dexter Reed takes a summer job at local burger spot, Good Burger, to pay for a car wreck while driving his mom's stolen car. Based on the Nickelodeon sketch-comedy show All That, the film follows the bumbling antics of the Good Burger crew as they try to save their beloved burger joint against a corporate giant.

Good Burger is just a feel-good summer movie, but instead of revolving around wealth and "California" nonsense — it's about a burger shop, something an 11-year-old kid from Oklahoma felt a connection to.

Available on Amazon Prime, Apple TV

- David Stevens, manager of ceramics program and studio

The Bear (2022) | Comedy, drama | TV-MA | 2022 | Series

If you’ve ever worked in the food-service industry, this show is a perfect example of what that experience is like — and may induce slight anxiety for those of us who have escaped the serving world (and those who haven’t).

A young, talented, award-winning chef, played by Jeremy Allen White, returns to Chicago after working in a high-end New York restaurant to save his late brother’s sandwich shop. The writing and acting are top tier, including Ayo Edebiri as a main character filled with passion, talent and grit. The show follows the trials and tribulations White’s character is forced to encounter, in himself, in his new restaurant and in the relationships around him, on top of the high-demand and wild lifestyle that is the food industry. The cinematography is moving and realistic, and you’ll catch yourself laughing, crying and being pissed off with the rest of the characters. An easy weekend-binge series — season two is announced to come out soon.

Available on Hulu, ABC, Disney+

- Cassandra Watson, social media coordinator and writer

Our video pantry is full of ready-to-snack offerings — keep an eye out for another The Art of Food #FridayFilms in the near future. Craving more? Catch past #FridayFilms. Happy weekend and happy watching, friends!

Be sure to stretch your legs between each viewing — a trip to the galleries is the perfect remedy.


Ralph Fiennes and Anya Taylor-Joy in The Menu (2022). Photo courtesy Searchlight Pictures.

Kel Mitchell and Kenan Thompson posing for Good Burger (1997). Photo courtesy Paramount Pictures.

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FridayFilms Friday Films movies The Art of Food food staff film

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