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The Wedding Banquet [Import]
This 1993 international hit by Ang Lee is a funny and poignant story of a gay, Taiwanese-American man who goes to some lengths to fool his visiting family that he's actually straight. The results are far more complicated and entertaining than anyone could have guessed. The film seems all the more rich now since Lee has become a major Hollywood director: that same sensitivity and mild bemusement he brought to such stories of manners as "Sense and Sensibility" and "The Ice Storm" in recent years are in full bloom in this earlier work. "--Tom Keogh"
This 1993 international hit by Ang Lee is a funny and poignant story of a gay, Taiwanese-American man who goes to some lengths to fool his visiting family that he's actually straight. The results are far more complicated and entertaining than anyone could have guessed. The film seems all the more rich now since Lee has become a major Hollywood director: that same sensitivity and mild bemusement he brought to such stories of manners as Sense and Sensibility and The Ice Storm in recent years are in full bloom in this earlier work. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The plot has been summarized by other reviewers, and in lesser hands it could easily have turned the film into a cliche. Given that the film appeared in the early 1990's, it could also have look dated to viewers in 2004. However, this film is not dated and it's not a cliche. Instead, it's a warm-hearted (but never maudlin) look at the importance of family, cultural heritage, and the difficulty of leading a hidden life, even when your relatives live on the other side of the world.
Much of the dialogue is Chinese (with English subtitles), but this is one of those rare films where I quickly became accustomed to the subtitles and they did not interfere at all with my enjoyment of the movie. The fact that the Chinese characters actually spoke Chinese made the film more believable.
Ang Lee's talent for visual composition is apparent throughout the movie. It's filled with scenes of real beauty, which is not always the case with comedies. Too often, movie comedies are shot as if they were widescreen TV sitcoms. That's not the case here. The production values are consistently high, so much so that I was surprised to discover during the DVD featurette that it was a low-budget film.
This film is fun to watch, with excellent acting and outstanding direction.
I was lucky enough to talk to Ang Lee at a film discussion last year. I told him that the Wedding Banquet was one of my favorite films of all time, and he seemed appreciative of that, because he felt he took a lot of care in developing the essence of character conflict and tension. This is definitely a movie worth adding to one's collection.
He's gay and happily attached to the dashing American boyfriend Simon (played by Mitchell Lichtenstein. So what's the problem... Mum and Dad in Tawian wants grand wedding and a grandchild and they will do anything to find him the perfect match.
Ang Lee takes a humours approach towards the film but never deters from the storyline of "do we live to please our parents or for ourselves".
Buy it and I'm 150% you'll laugh, cry and love the movie!
The movie takes a few more tosses and twists than it needs to, however: I could have done well without the extra plot line that gets thrown in after the wedding night (and you know what I mean)... because that then just throws in the complications of further sexual dynamics which weren't necessary for a full resolution of the familial disharmony.
In any event, though, the movie is a definite keeper and well worth watching. I laughed, I cried, and empathized. I do wish it were on DVD, though.
Most recent customer reviews
A good comedy - what happens when you are not honest with yr parents - lol - a comedy - built for enjoyoment - light but fillingPublished on Dec 27 2013 by Frank
This film proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that a family can take many forms. The cast is brilliant, the storyline is phenomenal. Read morePublished on July 6 2004
This is certainly an intriguing comedy which redeems itself by turning into a drama that poignantly explores the costs of lying about one's personal life towards the end of its... Read morePublished on June 19 2004