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The Wedding Banquet (1993)

Cast: Winston Chao, May Chin, Mitchell Lichtenstein, more...
Director: Ang Lee
    see all cast/crew...
Studio: MGM
Genre: Foreign, Romantic Comedy, Gay & Lesbian, Features
Running Time: 108 min.
Languages: English, Mandarin
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
    see additional details...

A gay New Yorker stages a marriage of convenience with a young woman to satisfy his traditional Taiwanese family, but the wedding becomes a major inconvenience when his parents fly in for the ceremony. Director Ang Lee came to international prominence with this warm-hearted comedy, which centers on the farcical confusion that emerges from this deception. Gao Wai Tung (Winston Chao) has never shared the truth about his sexuality with his family, and hopes to disguise his long-term relationship with his lover Simon by marrying Wei-Wei, a young artist who's only it for the green card. But Wai Tung's parents refuse to let him off the hook easily, showing up to plan a massive wedding banquet. Indeed, much of the film's comedy springs from the contrast between the sheer lavishness of the parents' plans and the sham nature of the wedding. Naturally, the titular party spins out of control, leading to a series of events that threatens all of Wai Tung's relationships. ~ Judd Blaise, All Movie Guide

Special Features:

  • "A Forbidden Passion" Featurette with Director/Co-writer Ang Lee and Producer/Co-writer James Schamus
  • Theatrical Trailer

GreenCine Member Reviews

awesome! by alexjb November 29, 2005 - 9:08 PM PST
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
ang lee is brilliant!

this film is all about balance - 2 cultures, 2 languages, a gay couple and a hetero marriage, drama and comedy. lee manages them all masterfully. he plays the cultures and languages off of each other to great dramatic and comedic effect. at the same time that we're thinking how different chinese culture is from American, the parallels as far as parental expectations are very clear, even down to how the main character mirrors his dad and how the partner mirrors his mom.

despite not having much back story on any of them, we come to sympathize with each character in turn - how each of them is at once stressed by the circumstances, and yet contributes to the complications.

the film offers a great glimpse of chinese culture, especially the expectations for people to honor their responsibilities to family. meanwhile, that runs headlong into modern New York- individualism, lifestyle choices, female independence and homosexual love. i think that the intergenerational dynamic is one of the best and most universal themes- anyone who's felt like they were challenging years of tradition will appreciate what the main characters are up against.

i think that the male lead is a little wooden in his acting, but after a while, you just kind of conclude that his character is emotionally inaccessible. the performances of the parents (two of ang lee's favorites) and the other two younger actors are enough to outweigh, at any rate.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.27)
259 Votes
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