A 7.9 N.Y. Times piece by Steve Chagollan eyeballs a fresh crop of U.S.-produced foodie and wine-sipping moviesRidley Scott‘s A Good Year (with Russell Crowe) and Scott HicksMostly Martha remake (with Catherine Zeta-Jones), plus a forthcoming adaptation of Anthony Capella‘s The Food of Love by director Peter Chelsom (Shall We Dance?) and an adaptation-in-the-works of Julia Child‘s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” from director-writer Nora Ephron. And…wait, there’s more.

Chagollan’s conclusion is that these films may be happening because of (a) greater longings for comfort and (b) changing notions of male virility and sexuality. “Food is that thing that people retreat to for comfort and safety,” CAA agent Lisa Shotland tells Chagollan, “and in these uncertain times that just becomes more and more the norm.” And producer Denise Di Novi observes that the chef has become “the new rock star…the qualities that make a man sexy have expanded beyond traditional male roles, [and] great chefs embody the things that make all great artists appealing, in that they’re creative, committed and passionate.”