Love is never easy, especially when you're a closeted homosexual and your parents travel 8,000 miles to attend your sham wedding while your lover nervously assumes the role of bogus best man. That may sound like a setup for a screwball farce, but The Wedding Banquet turns out to be a thoughtful and ultimately deeply moving story about family ties, tradition, and acceptance. As the film that put writer/director Ang Lee on the map, it's a must-see for anyone who's enjoyed his subsequent work, especially Eat Drink Man Woman and The Ice Storm, both equally powerful meditations on damaged families with serious communication issues.
Though much of the dialogue in The Wedding Banquet is in Chinese, the action takes place in New York. Taiwanese expatriate Wai-Tung (Winston Chao) is living a fast-paced Manhattan life as a budding real estate wheeler-dealer. He lives in a lovely Greenwich Village townhouse with his affable doctor boyfriend Simon (Mitchell Lichtenstein). Wai-Tung's biggest problem: The constant long-distance phone calls from his parents (Ah Lei Gua and Sihung Lung) wondering when their beloved only son is finally going to get married.
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