Chopstick Cinema

Celeste Heiter's Adventures in Asian Food & Film

A Little Background on the Film

Known in Taiwan as Yin Shi Nan Nu, the 1994 film Eat Drink Man Woman, directed by Ang Lee is a family tale, centered around a retired Taipei chef and his three unmarried daughters. Jia-Jen, the eldest is a chemistry teacher, newly indoctrinated into the Christian faith. Daughter number two, Jia-Chien, is a high-ranking executive in the airline industry, and the youngest, Jia-Ning, is a university student who moonlights at a fast food restaurant. Every Sunday, they gather around the family dinner table to share the latest developments in the romance department.

I've often seen this film on the shelves of my local video store and have been keen to see it. It's a little idiosyncracy of mine never to read movie reviews or the description of a film on the back of the box before I watch it. I like to form my own opinions as the movie unfolds, rather than being influenced by critics or having certain surprises spoiled by knowing too much about the film beforehand. But in this case, for the sake of the weblog, I had to do a little advance research to make sure it was appropriate fare for my Dinner & a Movie project, and to be able to synopsize it for my readers. My impression of Eat Drink Man Woman is reminding me of two other films: 'Tortilla Soup', Maria Ripoll's adaptation of Ang Lee's Eat Drink Man Woman screenplay, and George Tillman's 'Soul Food', both of which seem to have similar themes and use the dinner table as a venue for family drama.

Other films by Ang Lee include Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, and The Hulk.