Soul Food

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20th Century Fox Released 1997

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Movie Summary

Director:
George Tillman Jr
Released:
1997
Rating:
R
Soul Food is an intense family drama centering on the Joseph family, a tight-knit, African-American family from Chicago. The story is told from the perspective of narrator Ahmad Simmons (Brandon Hammond), an eleven-year old member of the extended Joseph family. Big Mama Joe (Irma P. Hall) is the matriarch of the Joseph family, her weekly Sunday dinners being the glue that holds the family together. When Big Mama suffers a stroke and slips into a coma, the family slowly starts to drift apart. Her daughters, Teri (Vanessa Williams), Maxine (Vivaca A. Fox), and Robyn "Bird" Joseph (Nia Long), have always relied on Big Mama's wisdom and guidance. Without her presence in their lives, the sisters allow petty bickering and old wounds to disrupt the family bonds and soon find themselves bickering over everything. Ahmad, Big Mama's favorite grandchild, instinctively knows what his grandmother would do in this situation and hatches a plot to reunite the shattered family at Big Mama's dinner table. Will a hearty helping of soul food be enough to heal the wounds within the Joseph family? Soul Food's terrific ensemble cast also features Mekhi Phifer, Michael Beach and Jeffrey D. Sams.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 90

    Los Angeles Times Kevin Thomas

    Humor, sentiment and melodrama strike a balance as he brings to life nine major characters and a host of others as well.

  • 80

    The New York Times Elvis Mitchell

    This new menu movie has a soapy plot, appealing stars, family values, down-home atmosphere and a conviction that there's rarely a problem fried chicken can't cure.

  • 80

    Variety

    Soul Food serves up family melodrama-cum-comedy that's tasty and satisfying, if not particularly profound or original.

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    Categories

    Comedy, Drama, Food & Cooking

    Themes

    Wine, African-American Drama, Family Comedies