Dinner. Everyone has dinner at least once a day. It’s one of the most routine things a person does throughout their life, so it’s only natural that it’s a scene you see almost everywhere, and in every movie. But the most interesting thing about the dinner scene is that it’s almost never about dinner.
Films such as “Pulp Fiction,” “Little Miss Sunshine,” “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” and “American Beauty” all use the dinner scene for multiple reasons. It could be for comedic effect or dramatic and tense moments but overall, it’s always to reveal something about a character or situation. Often in dinner scenes, characters converse and share how they feel with one another. Through this scene, the characters show us who they are by what they tell each other. For such a simple scene, it can actually accomplish much more than what it leads you to believe. Now You See It breaks it down into three categories:
1. Humans Eat: For one, eating can humanize a character. We might not be able to relate to every character that we see, but seeing them sit down and eat makes them seem like us, and that makes them relatable.
2. The Conflict: Ideally, dinner is supposed to be a peaceful time where people sit down, enjoy food, and each other’s companies, but that’s not always the case. The dinner scenes can bring problems to light through communication.
3. The Unexpected: Since dinners happen so often in real life, they are expected to be banal and routine but when something unexpected happens at the dinner table, it adds interests to the story.
Sharing a meal with others has been a defining factor in our culture and is an intimate time for everyone gathered at the table. But remember, no matter how common it may seem, there’s always significance in the dinner scene.
Watch Now You See It’s video as they delve deeper into the significance of the dinner scene and to see more examples of the scene being used in movies.