Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Food Fights: When Did They Become An Expression of Love?

When did the food fight become a family bonding activity?

Yesterday, I watched not one but two film food fights, each symbolizing fun and closeness.

In Hanging Up, Meg Ryan, Diane Keaton, and Lisa Kudrow are three sisters coping with the growing dementia and death of their eccentric father, played by Walter Mattau.

The sisters’ verbal battle is predictable. They make up while preparing a big meal, and the film ends with flour spilling wantonly over them, the floor, and everywhere as they re-live fond memories and renew their love for each other.

The food fight also may symbolize erotic love. Holly Hunter, as Det. Grace Hanadarko in the TV series Saving Grace, smears catsup and mustard over love interest Kenny Johnson/Det. Ham Dewey.

He smears back, and we know how this scene fades to black.

Catsup and mustard?

What is romantic or loving about having to clean up gooey condiments or fine flour from upholstery, between floor boards, and all tiny places into which food may fall?

I shudder at the sanitation implications; here in South Florida, ants and cockroaches own this place. The tiniest atom of food is an invitation to move in and stay for a long, long time.

Moreover, I loathe housework, so anything that increases the need for this is an activity to be assiduously avoided.

What is the secret of relishing a food fight? Are we to assume that the movie characters have housekeepers to clean up after them?

I doubt I’d feel comfortable having a housekeeper know I’d engaged in such childish pranks, increasing the work for her.

A food fight may be an improvement over much Hollywood fare – action flicks with lots of explosions and phony animation.

In a food fight, it is only the emotions that are phony.

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