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Eat Drink Man Woman

 

Eat Drink Man Woman

 

=    Tantalizing Cuisine and Family Drama in Taiwan

Sunday dinner at master chef Chu’s home resembles a spectacular banquet you would only expect at a gourmet restaurant. He works tirelessly to prepare a feast for his daughters who hardly seem to appreciate his culinary skills.

Jia-Jen (Kuei-Mei-Yang) is a chemistry teacher who has discovered Christianity, Jia-Chen (Chien-Lien Wu), is an airline executive who is in love with a man who will never marry her and Jia-Ning (Yu-Wen Wang) has her eye on a friend’s boyfriend.

The basic plot centers around a father who is not only trying to find a new life but is watching all his daughters leave and start their own lives.

Indirectly we also learn a great deal about men through the relationships the daughters pursue. We have a man who is living the bachelor lifestyle, a naive lover who is just learning about the games women play and a man who is willing to change religions to get the girl of his dreams.

This movie is deliciously dramatic with some deeply religious themes. I was pleasantly surprised with the light humor which was not at all offensive. You also see three lifestyles presented by the daughters showing how they each deal with their libidinous whims. The most unexpected twists and turns appear, making the plot entirely entertaining.

While chef Chu finds ways to show his love to his daughters, he is especially estranged from one of his daughters who only communicates with him through criticism of his food. There is a scene later in the movie which shows the father using this same tactic to communicate his love to his daughter.

Some of the comedy is all in the facial expressions. I especially loved the part where chef Chu is trying to eat the inedible lunch and where the children in his adopted granddaughter’s classroom are all placing orders for lunch. As a woman, I could not help laughing when he pulls out the nylons and bras all tied up together in the washer.

I’m always complaining about the lack of “chef” themes in movies. If you are hungry for movies with cooking themes, add this movie to your “must-see” menu. You almost have to watch this movie twice. Once with the subtitles and the second time just to view all the tantalizing dishes master chef Chu (Sihung Lung) prepares.

This movie reminded me of “The Scent of Green Papaya” (1994). However, “Eat Drink Man Woman” excels in the presentation of the cuisine, while “The Scent of Green Papaya” was more poetic in its presentation. This movie is a visual feast. All I want to know now is where is the cookbook so I can learn how to make that dragon?

Playful romance, creative cuisine, deep rivers of emotional drama and original comedy are the ingredients that make this movie a satisfying feast for the heart and soul.

Three words to take Very Seriously “before” watching this movie: Order Chinese Food!

Don’t say we didn’t warn you. ;)

Also look for: Babette’s Feast, Like Water for Chocolate, Simply Irresistible and Chocolat.

 

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