Eat Drink Man Woman
is a Taiwanese
film directed by Ang Lee
and stars Sihung Lung
, Yu-wen Wang
, Chien-lien Wu
, Kuei-mei Yang
. Many of the cast had starred in Ang Lee's previous film, The Wedding Banquet
with Sihung Lung and Ah Lei Gua
once more playing central elderly figures, and Winston Chao
. The film was released in 1994
The film was a critical success. The 2001 movie Tortilla Soup is a re-make.
The film tells the story of a semi-retired and widowed Chinese master chef Chu (Sihung Lung) and his family living in modern day Taipei, Taiwan. At the start of the film, he lives with his three attractive daughters, all of whom are unattached. The three daughters represent three stereotypes of woman:
- the oldest one an old maid school teacher with a broken heart
- the middle one the career woman who is afraid of commitment
- the youngest one the school girl who is growing up to be a woman.
As the film progresses, each daughter encounters new men. When these new relationships blossom, the stereotypes are broken and the living situation within the family changes. The film concludes with a surprise ending involving the chef himself.
A major theme of the movie is that romantic relationships give life meaning and are necessities of life (such as eating and drinking).
The film features numerous scenes displaying the technique and artistry of gourmet Chinese cooking. Since the family members have difficulty expressing their love for one another, the intricate preparation of banquet quality dishes for their Sunday dinners serves as a surrogate for the spoken expression of their familial feelings.
Another theme is the burden of aging. Chef Chu is depicted as having lost his "one true love" (his wife), losing another (his ability to taste) and about to lose all three daughters to marriage, not to mention the usual spectre of old age.
- The title is an old expression elaborating two main desires in human nature - "to eat and drink and to have sex", contemplated upon by Chu with his long-time friend while both were inebriated.
- This was the first film Ang Lee made in Taiwan