Evolution of Food in Film
by Idhant Khosla
The film I selected for analysis is "The Benchwarmers," directed by Dennis Dugan. This comedy follows three nerdy adults, Richie, Clark, and Gus who decide to take on rude little league baseball teams in support of bullied children who are never allowed to play. While food doesn't play a crucial role in the movie, it is woven into the story through multiple references, applied significance to a restaurant, and a fascinating incorporation of technology in food preparation.
Throughout the film, we see Clark refer to many unusual and childlike food choices, such as egg salad and macaroni and cheese. These quirky food preferences highlight Clark's strange personality, showing how dietary choices can be used to symbolize character traits in cinema.
The primary restaurant featured in the movie is Pizza Hut, and it is used as a full circle ending. In the film's opening scenes, Pizza Hut serves as the team's go-to spot after their initial win and is where Richie meets his “crush” Sarah. At the movie's conclusion, the team returns, this time with a crowd of excited children and supporters. Additionally, it is here that Richie kisses Sarah, underlining the connection between food, joy and romance, a theme that resonates both in real life and film.
Lastly, "The Benchwarmers" introduces a unique element of technology in the culinary world, showcasing a robot named Number 7. Number 7 has the ability to instantly create any sandwich desired. He even finishes Richie's sandwich before he can express his preferences verbally! While this is far-fetched, it shows the evolving relationship between technology and food preparation.
In conclusion, "The Benchwarmers" is an inspiring comedy that I thoroughly enjoyed watching and analyzing the small, yet unique role of food in the movie.
The Benchwarmers. Dir. Dennis Dugan. Revolution Studios, 2006.