Tracey E. Edmonds and Robert Teitel/ Dir: George Tillman Jr./
20th-Century Fox/ 115mins/ 1997
film focuses on a family in the 1990s, held together by the
affectionate Mama Joe. Every Sunday she makes the family get
together for dinner. She and her three daughters prepare
the meal. Unfortunately, Mama Joe slips into a diabetic
coma and the 40-year tradition comes to an end. Without the
attentions of Mama Joe, the family slowly begins to come
apart. Lem cannot find a job, and eventually becomes enraged
with his wife Bird when he finds out how she got him a job.
Terri, furious with Lem because she thinks he attacked Bird,
has a goon beat him up. Lem eventually winds up in jail.
Terri's husband Miles has an affair with her cousin Faith.
This leads to a rather funny scene in which Terri first chases
her husband with a butcher knife and then Faith while they are
all at a party. Mama Joe dies and Terri decides to sell Mama
Joe's house against the wishes of her family. In order to
reunite the family Ahmed lures the family back to Mama Joe's
for a Sunday dinner.
are enough shots of food for this film to be considered a
food movie. A substantial amount of the plot is also
devoted to the food. The best scenes are early in the movie at
Bird and Lem's wedding. Later when Mama Joe has died and the
family is reunited for a Sunday dinner the
preparation of the
mealwill likely spark an appetite, especially the fried
catfish. However, macaroni and cheese just does not
compare to timpani, nor is the presentation nearly as
elaborate as films like Babette's Feast or Eat Drink
Man Woman. The food is certainly more realistic of what a
real family eats; but, realistic or not it is far less