Soul Food (1997)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  26 September 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 4,986 users   Metascore: 68/100
Reviews: 30 user | 34 critic | 15 from

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


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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 <>

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)


£125,459 (UK) (19 June 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


'Vanessa L. Williams' played the role of Terri in the movie, and 'Vanessa A. Williams' played the role of Maxine 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 Gloria (1999) See more »


Written by Maurice White, Al McKay and Alice Willis
Performed by Earth Wind & Fire
Courtesy of Columbia Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

Superb Movie!
26 October 1998 | by (Riverside, CA.) – See all my reviews

This movie is fantastic! The acting is first-rate (especially Vivica A. Fox and Brandon Hammond). The storyline is touching, funny, and poignant. This film wisely avoids being a "chick flick" and tells about a regular middle-class African-American family, something we don't see in movies that often.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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