Saturday, April 9, 2016

864. Hsi yen

Hsi yen
The Wedding Banquet
Directed by Ang Lee

I am quite glad that a decent Taiwanese film has come along, as I have been bashing them pretty regularly on this blog.  Usually, the culture gap is just a bit too wide.  However, I really enjoyed this film, proving that I can enjoy Chinese/Taiwanese films that don't include kung fu.  I was beginning to worry myself there.

Wai-Tung Gao lives a happy existence with his boyfriend Simon in New York City.  Unfortunately, his traditional family is unaware of (or willfully ignoring) Wai-Tung's sexual orientation and are eager to find him a bride.  With Simon's blessing, Wai-Tung decides to marry Wei-Wei, one of his tenants who desperately needs a green card, in order to placate his parents.  Much to Simon and Wai-Tung's horror, the Gao family decides to come to New York to attend the wedding.  Hilarity ensues.

I am not used to "madcap comedies" having any sort of message other than maybe don't try to develop an elixir of youth.  It is always interesting to see homosexual relationships on film, because for some reason, it is still considered taboo and not usually done.  But more than that, I liked seeing Lee blending Western and Eastern methods of filmmaking, demonstrating that our enjoyment of films doesn't have to be limited to which country we are from.

So a funny and enjoyable film.  I am excited to see what else Ang Lee can do.

RATING: ****-

Interesting Facts:

Winston Chao was a flight attendant with no experience in acting when he was cast in this film.

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