You guys. Every once in a while something cosmic brings together two typically unrelated parts of my life. Today is one of those days for me, and perhaps it is for you as well. For today, February 9, is not only National Pizza Day, but it is also the 92nd annual Academy Awards ceremony. The stars have aligned, quite literally, to allow me to settle back in my recliner with a slice of Chicago deep-dish as I root on my favorite movies, actors and actresses during the Oscars telecast. Thank you, universe. Thank you.
Leading up to this momentous mashing of celebrations, I took some time to reflect on my favorite food’s role in entertainment. To be honest, the first thing that came to mind was not actually a movie scene, but rather one from Breaking Bad’s third season where Walt (Bryan Cranston) throws a full pizza up on the roof of his home in frustration. Classic. Except for the part where thousands of tourists started doing that same thing when visiting Albuquerque and the poor family who lives in that house in real life wanted to tear their hair out!
And now here are 6 movies where pizza plays a role:
Mystic Pizza – While this isn’t the only film ever made with “pizza” in its title, it’s definitely the only GOOD movie ever made with “pizza” in its title! This 1988 coming-of-age drama stars Julia Roberts, Lili Taylor and Annabeth Gish as three women (two sisters, one friend) who waitress at a pizza parlor and share in each other’s romantic ups and downs. If you’re paying attention, you’ll catch Matt Damon in his film debut!
All of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies– Cowabunga, dudes! Anyone who’s familiar with TMNT knows that the mutant turtles’ fave food is pizza, and therefore they are never too far from a pie. My son actually has a TMNT toy called the “Pizza Thrower” that’s used to fight the bad guys. Bodacious!
Eat Pray Love – Julia Roberts makes her second appearance on this list in the 2010 adaption of Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-selling novel about a woman who takes an introspective journey to Italy, India and Bali after a divorce. One of the Italian stops — Napoli, to be specific — is L’Antica Pizzeria da Michele, where Roberts’ character and a friend share a delicious margherita pizza. The real location has been popular with tourists ever since!
Little Italy – I just realized that the Roberts family is dominating this list, as this rom-com stars Julia’s niece, Emma Roberts! She and Hayden Christensen play childhood friends whose families own competing pizza businesses. While it’s a story about relationships, this is probably the movie that revolves the most around actual pizza. There’s even a pizza-making competition.
Dog Days – This sweet 2018 rom-com follows the lives (and specifically the love lives) of dog owners in LA. Pizza makes an appearance thanks to Finn Wolfhard (of Stranger Things and It), who plays a pizza-delivery boy.
Home Alone – It’s one of the most beloved comedies of all time, and one of the best scenes in it is when little Kevin McAllister (Macaulay Culkin) uses film dialogue to communicate with the pizza-delivery boy. The movie he plays in that scene isn’t a real one — it was created just for Home Alone — but it still delivers one of the all-time best lines: “Keep the change, ya filthy animal!”
Whether or not you’ll be watching the Oscars tonight like me, I hope you’re able to enjoy your favorite kind of pizza today — and maybe a movie along with it.