Ten Movies with Tea and Good Manners
It is still very possible to begin an adventure all while staying indoors! For many of us, the best way we can contribute to preventing the spread of COVID-19 in our communities is to simply stay home. Watch an uplifting film as you sip on your warm afternoon tea or herbal evening blend of rooibos or tisane. Invite a friend to watch the same film as you and enjoy a conversation over a video-call to discuss it! As we take some time to “social distance,” it is important to stay connected. Thankfully, with modern technology we are able to stay in contact with many people and still enjoy meaningful conversations even though we cannot meet face to face. Until we can, enjoy some films on our list!
Named for Paddington Station, this little bear with a big heart is in search of a family in London. The Brown family takes him in, but they must teach him manners, like how to refrain from drinking tea directly from the spout! Some of our favorite scenes are the scene at a small tearoom where Paddington Bear meets Mr. Brown for the first time, the scene with the tea train, and the very charming tea scene with the Buckingham palace guard. Starring Hugh Bonneville from Downton Abbey, this is a charming film for the entire family to enjoy.
Available on iTunes, Vulu, and Amazon Prime.
Pride and Prejudice
There will always be an endless debate among tea drinkers about which Darcy is the true Darcy, but thankfully there are two solid film adaptations of this book (1995 and 2005) that will help you generate plenty of hearty dialogue on the topic over tea.
Elizabeth Bennet’s and Mr. Darcy’s assumptions and pride get the better of them in this tale of satire, prudence, and wit set in the Regency era. The films display exemplary character design by Jane Austen, embodying her famous opening line from the book throughout its entirety: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” This story naturally has a happy ending, but not without its moments of folly and scandal that allow its characters to prove their nobility and civility through it all.
Look for moments with tea throughout both adaptations, especially when Elizabeth Bennet visits Rosings Park and must dine with the extravagant and superfluously esteemed Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Which film version is your favorite?
Both versions are available on multiple streaming platforms.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
With two adaptations, one from BBC in 1988 and the latest version made in 2005, this is a tale about fighting for the good when there is an overwhelming evil surrounding your circumstances. The Pevensie siblings step up to the challenge and enjoy tea with Mr. and Mrs. Beaver (and even Mr. Tumnus along the way!). This story not only serves a few warm cups of tea in some cozy scenes, but helps us understand what true courage is in the midst of chaos, emphasizing the importance of continuing the journey together.
BBC version available on DVD on Amazon.
2005 version on various streaming platforms.
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings
Gandalf, Frodo, and even Bilbo, share tea at the beginning of their big adventures, proving that all matters of great importance must be discussed over a warm brew. Tolkien’s stories illustrate that when we are in the midst of difficult times, the camaraderie and encouragement of a friend can help. The strength of director Peter Jackson is his ability to go between very small, relational, close-up moments to large-scale epic scenes to show Tolkien’s story. Which series do you like better? The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings?
Available on various platforms.
Babette, a Parisian refugee, is sent to live in a Danish town and is able to display courtesy, kindness, and love to her neighbors despite speaking a different language and living in a different culture than she is used to. Though there is no afternoon tea in this film, the spirit of it is present by highlighting the importance of Beauty and Grace contrasted with a meager, miserly, self-satisfied approach to life. A lovely, deeply meaningful movie (in Danish with subtitles). We highly recommend it!
Available on Amazon Prime and iTunes.
This family classic is about an ordinary girl from San Francisco who finds out she is a princess. Upon this revelation, she meets with the Queen of Genovia for a spot of tea with the classic “Old Country Roses” china tea set. Queen Clarisse Renaldi assures Mia that she will teach her to be a proper princess saying, “I can give you books; you will study language, history, art, political science. I can teach you to walk, talk, sit, stand, eat, dress—like a princess!” Mia’s strength shines through as she discovers that Gentility and Grace will help her rise to the occasion as she creates a meaningful relationship with her grandmother.
Available on various platforms.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Magic, mayhem, and mischief riddle this third installment of the film adaptations of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series. Harry’s quest to discover the truth of his past continues as he is haunted by the mysterious Sirius Black who, it seems, will stop at nothing to find him in alliance with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. There are moments with teacups and teapots throughout the series. In this entry, look for a particularly fun few scenes in the divination class when the students are taught to “read their future” by the quirky professor Sybill Trelawny who is easily alarmed and makes predictions all too readily. This film is full of twists and turns, but most importantly, it carries the theme of camaraderie with an emphasis on the magic of friends that eventually become family.
Available on various platforms.
Emma is a story that contrasts self importance with a genuine serving spirit. A young idealist who is convinced she has a knack for matchmaking has some successes and blunders in this hearty Jane Austen classic. With several film adaptations, the tale brings forth the idea of true Civility and Gentility as opposed to surface-level superiority. Emma grows and changes as she lets go of her self importance in a series of unexpected circumstances. With tea and picnics scattered throughout this lighthearted romance, Jane Austen’s characters often meet up to share tea and elevate their relationships. Look for lavish and colorful teatime treats in the latest film adaptation that was released this year. Did you see it?
Available on Amazon Prime, YouTube, and Google Play.
Tea and company can easily invite laughter, as demonstrated by the very hospitable Uncle Albert in Mary Poppins! How important it is to find joy in the little moments in our day and age, especially now! Laughter is good for the soul, as Uncle Albert knew; laughter lifts us, often off of our feet, so that we may have a lovely afternoon tea on the ceiling in our homes. Let’s “Love to Laugh” together as we drink tea with Mary Poppins in this classic film.
Available on Disney+ and various platforms.
The King’s Speech
A film that inspires victory when surrounded by darkness is a welcomed theme in light of our current circumstances! During WWII, King George VI led his people during some of the most challenging days England had ever seen, all while struggling with stammering speech. Look for a spot of tea in “The King’s Speech” when Bertie (King George) and Lionel Logue share tea during his therapeutic visits to tend to the king’s speech challenges. This film is a story about overcoming difficulty with great effort and living up to duty when one must. It illustrates how traversing difficulties with the support of someone we love can help carry us through immense struggles, just as King George’s wife Elizabeth did for him. It reminds us of hope when there seems to be none.
We advise parents to review the rating, as this movie’s language may not be appropriate for all children.
Available on Netflix and multiple streaming platforms.