Eat, Drink, Man, Woman

Once again I listened to a JayFlix participant and checked this 1994 classic out of the library. Ang Lee ("The Wedding Banquet," "Sense and Sensibility," "The Ice Storm" and "Brokeback Mountain") was just mastering his cinematic craft when he made this lovely film. By the time he shot this, his third movie, he knew he wanted to place more emphasis on women, and to do that he had to exercise more patience and focus more carefully on their beauty. He made lovely Asian women look even lovelier!

Although I had seen the Mexican/American remake ("Tortilla Soup"), this is far and away the better movie. In each film, the plot centers around the preparation and presentation of food. At the time, Mr. Lee was a stay-at-home dad (his wife supported them during their early days), and he had come to realize that the preparation and serving of food was an unspoken way to offer love.

The cast is flawless. It consists of a widower and three adult daughters, all of whom still live at home. The father is a master chef at a prominent restaurant but he has lost his sense of taste, so he has come to rely on an old chum to do quality control for him.

The oldest daughter, a high school teacher, is a committed Christian who is still carrying a torch for a long-lost love (ten years!). The next daughter is a successful executive for an airline; her personal life is in a holding pattern as she focuses on her high-flying career. The youngest daughter works in a fast-food joint and offers lots of advice to a lovelorn friend. All three have come to view their father's elaborate Sunday meal as a weekly drudgery that must be borne.

We get acquainted with everyone, learn their individual challenges and dilemmas. We see lots of comedy mixed with drama as we watch changes occur and hope our friends are making good choices. We have come to care about all of them and that, to me, is a sure-fire recipe for a satisfying experience.

Check it out!