Soul Food (1997)


Soul Food is the soundtrack to the 1997 film, Soul Food. It was released on August 19, 1997 through LaFace Records and mainly consisted of R&B music with a bit of some hip hop. The soundtrack was a huge success, peaking at #4 on the Billboard 200 and was certified 2x Multi-Platinum on February 17, 1998. Four singles made to the Billboard Hot 100--"I Care 'Bout You", "What About Us", "We're Not Making Love No More", and "A Song for Mama"--making it to 23, 16, 13, and 7 on the chart, respectively.


Soul Food is told through the eyes of 11-year-old Ahmad (Hammond), follows the trials of the Joseph family, a close-knit Chicago family that gets together to have Sunday dinner every week, with plenty of soul food to go around. As Mother (Big Mama) Joe (Hall) has three daughters, who each have had varying success in life: oldest daughter Teri (Williams) has become a successful lawyer but has also suffered relationship problems ever since her younger sister Maxine (Fox) stole and married Teri's old boyfriend, Kenny (Sams). Teri's current husband, Miles (Beach), desires to follow his dreams of being an R&B musician. Youngest Joseph daughter Ryla (Long) -- nicknamed "Bird" -- has just opened a barbershop/beauty parlor, and most of the family is uneasy about her marriage to Lem (Phifer), an ex-convict. These problems are complicated when Mother Joe, the diabetic but wise and caring matriarch of the family and the glue that holds it together, suffers a debilitating stroke during an operation to amputate her leg and slips into a coma. Without her guidance, the family begins to fall apart. Teri takes in her troubled cousin Faith (Ravera), who Teri catches having sex with Miles. As an ex-con, Lem cannot find a job, so Bird makes an uneasy deal with her ex-boyfriend Simuel St. James (Mel Jackson) to get Lem a job, but a series of events eventually land him in prison again. By contrast, Kenny and Maxine are reasonably stable, and expecting their third child. Ahmad, Kenny and Maxine's oldest child, is worried about the state of his extended family, and conspires to find a way to bring them all back together.