Gilbert Speaks on Ang Lee’s Eat Drink Man Woman

11 Aug


I need to apologize for not posting more often on my blogs. There are several reasons, but the most relevant reason is that I am dealing with the loss of my husband. Not only have I been lax in film and TV series reviews, but I haven’t done any writing on the fifth installment of my Roof Oasis Series. Anyway…when I do watch an unusual film, I make the time to write about it. Last night, I accidently came across Ang Lee’s Eat Drink Man Woman. Will this film make it into my Granny’s Insomnia Theatre Collection?


The man who gave the world the fabulous eye, mind, and spirit candy Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon was also responsible for the 1994 romantic comedy, Eat Drink Man Woman. Ang Lee wrote and directed this film, which stars: Sihung Lung, Yu-Wen Wang, Chien-Lien Wu, Kuei-Mei Yang, Sylvia Chang, Winston Chao, Chao-jung Chen, and Al-Lei Gua as Madame Liang. The title comes from the Chinese classic Book of Rites and man’s primary desires being related man’s primary desires to eat, drink and have sex.


Chu (Sihung Lung) is an aging master chef with three daughters living under his roof. His wife had died sixteen year ago, and Chu is not only missing her guidance but also having to deal with family angst. Jia-Jen (Kuei-Mei-Yang) is a schoolteacher and an old maid which is due to a tragic love affair she had in the past. Chu Jia-Ning is a college student who falls in love with her best friend’s boyfriend. Jia-Chen (Chien-Lien-Wu) is an executive with a huge airline.

Each Sunday, Mr. Chu creates a fabulous dinner for his family. I use the term creates dinner because one of the highlights of this film is watching the cooking and presentation of each course that is served to the three daughters.

Although Mr. Chu enjoys cooking and caring for his girls; he even does their laundry, the daughters are not happy about these family get-togethers. Although the Sunday meals are a flop with his daughters, Mr. Chu finds an appreciative recipient for his delicious meals in the form of a family friend’s little girl. Mr. Chu becomes a big hit at little Shan-Shan’s (Yu-Chien Tang) school


Ang Lee is truly a magician who is able to create fantasy worlds in which we are invited to enter, but then find ourselves unwilling to leave. In this film, there are so many plots going on within the major family storyline. There is even a unexpected announcement towards the end of the film that I did not see coming. What made me laugh out loud was hearing a version of Sex in the City’s theme song playing whenever the story focused on one of the sisters.


I would suggest that you watch this little gem. I would definitely add this film to my Granny collection. The meals that Mr. Chu’s family share together may not always be a joyous occasion, but it is a recipe that keeps them connected to each other. Remember this the next time you start moaning about visiting your family for a Sunday dinner.

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