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Eat Drink Man Woman

Sihung Lung , Yu-Wen Wang , Ang Lee    DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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This is not a movie to see on an empty stomach. Writer-director Ang Lee's 1994 Oscar nominee tells a family story about a chef and his three daughters through the meals the chef prepares and serves his family. This touching, dryly funny story of a family coping with personal lives and the way those lives intersect with the family relationships captures a shift in generations in Taipei. The father, a famous chef who has lost his taste buds, still cooks, though he draws no pleasure from eating. His daughters, meanwhile, deal with both the disappointments and surprises of daily living and the way their adult lives compare to the expectations the widowed father had for them. A subtle, amusing--and mouth-watering--comedy of impeccable manners. --Marshall Fine


Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars When Love Equals a Chinese Feast June 4 2008
Format:DVD
This film is a feast for the eyes and senses. It will have almost *all* viewers drooling with delight and desire as Mr. Chen prepares his ritual Sunday meal for his three grown daughters and occasionally a friend and neighbor. Mr. Chen is a widower, a retired chef from a famous Chinese restaurant in Taiwan. He continues this traditional family gathering as a way of communicating his love for his daughters. As a Chinese male and head of household, it is awkward for him to express his true feelings without a mother figure in the house. The problem is - his daughters are adults and each has her own unique identity. Each of them needs to grow in her own directon and express her own individuality - this is when the fun really begins, as one by one in the film, the viewer is privileged to learn about the daughters' lives. Little does Mr. Chen realize just how modern his obedient daughters are and just exactly what events are transpiring behind the scenes in their lives to which he is *not* privvy ... until ...one by one their lives are revealed to his surprise. However, what is really amazing is - Mr. Chen is more modern than his *own* daughters realize and he has a few tricks up his sleeve which catch them unaware as well!

There are many wonderful themes explored in this complex film which to be fully appreciated should be viewed several times for maximum enjoyment. There is love, hope, survival, lonliness, friendship, death, betrayal, family values, and so much more. There is so much depth to this film that a lot can and likely will be missed, despite the fact it is a two hour film, it zooms by very fast. Mr. Chen's role is much deeper than one realizes, so the unfocused mind is overwhelmed by sensual data.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Day with Yin Shi Nan Nu April 3 2002
Format:DVD
MGM's horrendous DVD releases of late are all forgiven when you take one look at the sparkling release that is 'Yin Shi Nan Nu' (aka 'Eat Drink Man Woman'), a 1994 Taiwanese film that is gaining renewed recognition, mainly because its from the same person who directed 'Wo Hu Cang Long' (aka 'Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon'). Of all the food-themed movies on DVD thus far, this is definitely my favorite, and while not as layered and grippingly bizarre as its' Japanese counterpart 'Tampopo', it does have its' moments, and the fitting climax ties in very neatly with the plotline.
Ang Lee is a truly gifted film-maker, and this is most evident in his Chinese-language work. I shudder to think that hes actually gone and accepted a big studio's proposal to direct 'The Hulk'. Lee's work in the early 1990s, such as this little gem, is well worth investing in. Personally, I find movies of this sort well worth watching - in fact, I've watched this film four times in two different countries and each time realize how it stands the test of time.
The storyline is simple - a master chef widower lives in a big house with his three daughters - one is an executive, another is a teacher, the last is a high school student. The film attempts to tie together all their love-lives, a plot that could go horribly wrong and could look tedious, in the wrong hands. Fortunately, Lee refrains from overtures such as the lush but irritating ones sported by 'The Scent of Green Papaya', and handles this film with a great degree of respect for the medium, and respect for the audience.
First off, this movie will probably sit best with lovers of Chinese food. The DVD quality enhances the picture - if you own the VHS version or saw the version broadcast by Bravo, you haven't seen the film at all.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Culinary and Emotional Feast to Enjoy... March 13 2002
Format:DVD
This film is set in Taipei, and is spoken in Mandarin. The opening scene of this movie shows Master Chef Chu at work in his own kitchen at home in preparation for "the Sunday dinner." (My mouth was watering after the first 5 minutes.) It's a ritual in the Chu family for the [widowed] father to get together with his three daughters for this weekly meal no matter how tight the schedules of or how unwilling the daughters are to come. The eldest daughter is a devout Christian and high school chemistry teacher. The second daughter is an airline executive and the youngest daughter is a fast food chain cashier.
All three daughters aren't married and aren't in any serious relationships at the beginning of the story. But as the movie progresses and each of them find love under the strangest of circumstances, each has an "announcement" to make around the dinner table come Sunday. The audience can't help but feel bad for the father who's getting old and seems to be at odds with her daughters for every small matter.
Each daughter's relationship reflects the uniqueness of individuals.
...
The important theme to this story is hinted at when the father repeats to his daughters that he has lost his taste a long time ago. The audience later knows that he was referring more to his taste for life rather than his physical inability to distinguish flavors. This lack of appreciation for life comes with age as well as his loneliness from accepting the inevitable -- that his daughters are going to leave him alone someday.
There are so many subtleties this film is able to capture about not only the Chinese culture but living with women in general. (I grew up in a household where I was the only male, and I know what the father must have gone through each day.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars It's a classic story!
Because it arrived quickly to my doorstep and even though it was a used copy, it was in perfect condition. We really enjoyed watching it. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Leonie Price
4.0 out of 5 stars A family film on love and food
What a great movie! Eat drink man woman is useful to learn about asian customs, funny, sad. A excellent movie to see in family!
Published 18 months ago by Julie Rannou
5.0 out of 5 stars Great All Round
It's just a great movie, in every aspect of human relations 1.e great little story with a good blend of the serious and the comic
Published 23 months ago by Martin Wooldridge
5.0 out of 5 stars Story with much meaning and great performance
You maybe can't believe that the result of mixing comedy and drama will be good,but this movie can show you and can make you feel that ingredient in human-being could make the well... Read more
Published on Nov. 28 2003 by somepeople
4.0 out of 5 stars Eat, Drink My Kind of Movie
I really enjoyed this movie for several reasons. First, I could watch a skilled cook for hours. The technique just fascinates me. Read more
Published on June 21 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful!
a brilliant film by a brilliant director
p.s.- "tortilla soup" is a 2001 film, "eat drink man woman" is a 1994 film - which one is... Read more
Published on June 24 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Little Hints
This is one of the best films I have seen in awhile. The story is about widowed master chef Chu and the relationships with his three daughters. Read more
Published on April 24 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars See this before going to China.
This is a movie I recommend for those actually going to China. It is an excellent portrayal of the delicate intricacies of familial relationships in China and does a superb job of... Read more
Published on April 3 2002 by Jennifer Tindell
4.0 out of 5 stars Better than "Crouching Tiger"
This is an enjoyable movie about a real family in an intriguing, Chinese setting. Nobody can fly. There are no pretty women who can beat up an army of men. Read more
Published on March 24 2002 by "smugly"
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique and tantalizing
Definitly amazing and delightful from the beginning. This movie will certainly get your taste buds juicing for chinese cuisine. Read more
Published on March 4 2002 by Ariel Ramos
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