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Soul Food (1997)

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One person can keep a family together and, when that one person is gone, a family can be torn apart.


6 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Teri (as Vanessa L. Williams)
Brandon Hammond ...
Morgan Méchelle Smith ...
John M. Watson Sr. ...
Uncle Pete
M.T. Alexander ...


Matriarch Mama Joe has held her family together for 40 years around a Sunday dinner of soul food. When diabetes hospitalizes her, the dinners stop and tensions among her three daughters start to break the family apart. Two of the sisters feud continuously: Teri is jealous of Maxine's marriage and irritated that everyone assumes her corporate salary is open to the rest of the family's uses. Maxine resents Teri's bossiness and insensitivity to family tradition. Bird, the youngest, newly married to an ex-con, accepts a favor from an old lover that leads to her husband's arrest. Mama Joe's grandson Ahmad cooks up a scheme to bring the family together, back to the table. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Every family needs some. See more »


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some strong sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

26 September 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A mama főztje  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$7,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$11,197,897 (USA) (26 September 1997)


$43,490,057 (USA) (23 January 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Mekhi Phifer, who played Lem, was at one point married to Malinda Williams, who plays Bird in the cable series. See more »


At the beginning of the scene for the Sunday dinner that Ahmad arranged, there is a pitcher of grape or purple Kool-Aid. When the meal starts, the glasses are filled with a red drink. See more »


Lem: I don't need your help. I can find my own job.
Bird: Okay.
[Bird stares at Lem's crotch]
Lem: And stop lookin' at my dick.
See more »


Referenced in The Boondocks: The Itis (2006) See more »


You Are the Man
Written by Kenneth 'Babyface' Edmonds
Produced by Kenneth 'Babyface' Edmonds (as Babyface) for ECAF Productions, Inc.
Performed by En Vogue
En Vogue appears courtesy of East-West Records / Elektra Entertainment Group
See more »

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User Reviews

13 April 2003 | by See all my reviews

I think Soul Food does more than reveal a truly selfish brood of sisters (Williams, Fox, Long). Through the eyes of a child, it looks at family and blood values and finds them strong enough to beat any adversity. These are real people with real problems (unemployment, depression, desires, frustrations, goals and greed), there is no logic in those situations. You work with the essentials and learn as you go along. The sisters learn to accept each other's kinks and twists, even if it means swallowing their pride. This truly is food for the soul.

A searching movie!!!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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