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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.

Director:

George Tillman Jr.
6 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vanessa Williams ... Teri (as Vanessa L. Williams)
Vivica A. Fox ... Maxine
Nia Long ... Bird
Michael Beach ... Miles
Mekhi Phifer ... Lem
Brandon Hammond ... Ahmad
Jeffrey D. Sams ... Kenny
Gina Ravera ... Faith
Irma P. Hall ... Mother Joe
Carl Wright ... Reverend Williams
Mel Jackson ... Simuel
Morgan Méchelle Smith Morgan Méchelle Smith ... Kelly
John M. Watson Sr. John M. Watson Sr. ... Uncle Pete
M.T. Alexander M.T. Alexander ... Jada
Lawrence Petty ... Harome
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

There's Plenty For Everyone! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Fox

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 September 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A mama főztje See more »

Filming Locations:

Chicago, Illinois, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,197,897, 28 September 1997, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$43,490,057, 23 January 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jeffrey D. Samms, Michael Beach, and Brandon Hammond previously appeared in Waiting to Exhale (1995). See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Faith: [after Teri questions her motives for returning] I've changed.
Teri: Oh, you've changed? Don't you try and start any shit this time. You hear me?
See more »

Alternate Versions

The first version of this movie that George Tillman Jr made was entitled Spice of Life. It was released on a local cable access channel in Milwaukee, WI. See more »

Connections

Spin-off Soul Food (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Gone
Written by Laurnea Wilkerson (as Laurneá) and Omar (as Omar Lye Fook)
Performed by Laurnea Wilkerson (as Laurneá)
Courtesy of Yab Yum Records / Epic Records
By Arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Warm and Engaging Family Film
18 July 2007 | by Isaac5855See all my reviews

SOUL FOOD is an entertaining and, at times moving film that chronicles the lives of a tight-knit African American family. Big Mama (Irma P. Hall) is the widowed patriarch and referee who always knows exactly what to say to her children in any situation. Vanessa Williams is Terri, the oldest daughter, a no-nonsense attorney who spends a lot of time bailing family members out of tight spots and never lets them forget it. Terri's husband Miles (Michael Beach) is also an attorney who really wants to be a musician and is fighting an attraction to Terri's flaky cousin Faith (Gina Ravera). Viveca A. Fox is Maxine, the middle daughter who is married to Kenny (Jeffrey D. Sams), who we learn she stole from Terri when they were teenagers and has a son Ahmad (Brandon Hammond)who assists Big Mama in her job as family referee. The story opens at the wedding of youngest daughter Bird (Nia Long)whose new husband (Mikhi Phifer)is having trouble securing employment because of his stint in prison. The family manages to handle their differences until Big Mama is incapacitated by illness and can no longer be peacekeeper, but young Ahmad, seeing his family crumble, steps up to take up the slack. This entertaining comedy-drama has a surprisingly smart screenplay and first-rate performances, with young Hammond a standout. Lovely family drama that affectionately embraces the experience of a loving African American family. And the food looks delicious!


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