Eat Drink Man Woman (飲食男女), directed by Ang Lee (李安). This is a follow up to the film The Wedding Banquet (喜宴). The sequel to Eat Drink Man Woman, titled Very Far But Very Near (好遠又好近) is currently in development.
At the beginning of the film, we meet a retired master chef and widower who lives with his three single daughters. As the film progresses, each daughter encounters a new man and forms relationships which chang the dynamic and living situation in the house.
Official Movie Trailer
- Jia-Zhen (家珍) is the oldest daughter. She has become somewhat of a spinster ever since her old boyfriend left her in college. She a devout Christian and a strict high school Chemistry teacher. Played by Kuei-Mei Yang (楊貴媚).
- Jia-Qian (家倩) is the middle daughter. She is a corporate business woman who works for an airline company. She is so obsessed with her career that she’s a better lover than a girlfriend. Of the three girls, she butts heads with her father the most. She has incredible culinary skills. Played by Jacklyn Wu (吳倩蓮).
- Jia-Ning (家寧) is the youngest child. She’s a twenty year-old who attends school and works part time at a fast food restaurant. She’s sweet, quiet, and filial. Played by Michelle Wang (王渝文).
- Lao Zhu (老朱) is the father. He is a master chef of Chinese cuisine. Although he lost his ability to taste food, he enjoys spending time cooking and intricately preparing Sunday dinners for his daughters and daily lunch boxes for a very special little girl. Played by Sihung Lung (郎雄).
This movie is a classic in Taiwanese Cinema. It’s based on an almost universal principle in ethnic cultures: food brings people together. Although many bloggers talk about this movie and this type of story as uniquely Chinese. It’s not. Soul Food (1997) was a popular movie in the African-American community which dealt with many of the same themes of family, love, and relationships in much the same way (but for a different audience). I suspect that George Tillman, Jr. was inspired by this movie at least to some extent. Tortilla Soup (2001) is a “remake” of Eat Drink Man Woman. It features a Mexican American family.
Eat Drink Man Woman is another example of Ang Lee brilliantly weaving universal themes into a movie rich with traditional Chinese culture. Ang Lee is somehow able to appeal to all five of the senses through the visuals and the verbal descriptions of the food. I really liked the movie, and I am very excited for the sequel.
Topics: traditional Chinese cuisine, relationships, family