Mouthwatering movies: Randy Vermeulen
In Mouthwatering movies, a well-known person from the food or film world tells us about his or her most memorable, sensual or belly-shaking film scene or food film. This week we talk to Randy Vermeulen, film programmer at Studio/K.
Coffee or why I’ll never forget Meg Ryan My childhood was dominated by American series and films set in large crowded cities, with beautiful people and neurotic love affairs that blossomed over a steaming cup of coffee. Life is good when you and your friends live in a big city. Love happens, but then with a takeaway coffee in hand and a skyscraper in the background.
One of those unforgettable films is You've Got Mail, the most romantic film from the '90s with superstar Meg Ryan. I've seen it several times and refer to it in my daily life probably more than I should. It's the culmination of all of Ryan's romantic comedies. With coffee! As we all know, Ryan is the cult actress of the '90s and we'll never forget her.
Ryan plays the owner of a small New York bookshop, which is threatened by a large chain. She is also threatened physically by the chain's owner – Tom Hanks and his aching desire. But Ryan isn't interested. After all, he stands for everything she despises. Online, however, she has an anonymous lover who turns out to be Hanks. In the end, neither he nor the bookshop chain are that bad. He's more than just a mochaccino in a suit. He's pure coffee. And he likes books.
In my favourite scene, intellect, urbanity and notions of progress come together in a love story around coffee. Ryan waits for a date in her favourite coffee house. Then double-shot businessman Hanks sits down at her table: who is she waiting for? Doesn't she find him contemptible? And isn't it strange that her date is so late?
Hank’s behaviour in the film teaches us a wise lesson: the way to a woman's heart is to threaten her livelihood, intimidate her mentally, then win her over online.
My childhood was dominated by American series and films set in large crowded cities, with beautiful people and neurotic love affairs that blossomed over a steaming cup of coffee. Life is good when you and your friends live in a big city. Love happens, but then with a takeaway coffee in hand and a skyscraper in the background.
In its simplicity, this scene refers to countless other Ryan films, forever burned into our collective memory. These include When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle, as well as other '90s films and series. Think of Rachel and Ross' epic first kiss in the Friends’ coffee house Central Perk; or Ally McBeal’s orgasmic appreciation of her 'coffee between breaks' – all scenes in which coffee acts as a catalyst or symbol of love, excitement and eroticism.
Incidentally, I only started drinking coffee five years ago. And we're still very happy together!
Friends: Ross and Rachel
Ally McBeal (this film is of poor quality, but the only one we could find of this scene).
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