At first glance, What's Cooking? looks like it was dreamed up by some politically correct screenwriting committee: a series of overlapping stories that intercut among four families (one Hispanic, one Vietnamese, one African American, one Jewish) all preparing for Thanksgiving dinner. But what could be toothless and smarmy is made gripping and genuinely affecting by a mixture of observant writing, fluid direction, and a truly superb ensemble of actors, including Mercedes Ruehl, Alfre Woodard, Joan Chen, Julianna Margulies, Kyra Sedgewick, Dennis Haysbert, and a host of less well known but just as capable others. The script is a marvel of orchestration: small annoyances blossom into fierce conflicts, secrets are deftly revealed, and sanctimoniousness is subtly punctured. The acute but sympathetic portrait of family stress and tension is layered with quiet observations about race and class, as well as the capacity for tolerance and forgiveness. It's recently become a cliché to have characters express themselves through food (examples include Soul Food, Big Night, and Eat Drink Man Woman), but What's Cooking? turns food into a witty exploration of culture as everyone prepares their turkeys in entertainingly different ways--this is not a movie to watch on an empty stomach. Warm without false sentiment, What's Cooking? is deeply enjoyable. --Bret Fetzer
This movie was great. It shows a typical thanksgiving day in four different households. It goes without saying, there are
problems in every family. Read more
The story is boring, plot-development uninteresting and slow, and the overdramatic cast, especially the younger ones that might benefit from a few years' worth of acting lessons,... Read morePublished on Nov. 21 2002 by "blake-ryan"
This is a great movie about families from different backgrounds having their Thanksgiving dinner together. Read morePublished on April 30 2002 by Jodiyo
Simply one of the best movies I have ever seen. All the actors are great and the story lines intriguing.Published on Feb. 19 2002
There are indie films,and then there are stay-with-you always amazing indie films. The cast is only the icing to a tale weaved so subtly the ending would blow you away (well, not... Read morePublished on Jan. 15 2002 by "axegal"
Sorry to say that I was not able to walk out of this film. It is
disturbing to find that people respond positively to a such an on-slaught of racial stereotypes. Read more
This is a story of 4 families as they sit down for Thanksgiving Dinner..There are secrets, affairs, and even a child thinkin about shooting someone.. Read morePublished on Sept. 12 2001 by "kmartinklover"
This is the first movie I've ever watched which was bad enough to inspire me to write a negative review. This movie is disturbing, depressing, and socially harmful. Read morePublished on July 18 2001