Winner: London Critics Circle Awards  Best Director of the year
Kyra Sedgwick, Julianna Marguilies, Joan Chen, Alfre Woodward, Mereges Ruehl, Ron Williams
Synopsis of What's Cooking
Based around thanksgiving dinner, what's cooking is not strictly a lesbian movie. More a movie about diversity in which families of different ethnic backgrounds feature. And also varying sexual orientation. Hence our lesbian subplot
Rachel Seelig [Kyra Sedgwick], is the only child of Herb abd Ruth, who are traditional Jewish family. Rachel is a lesbian and in a very loving relationship with Carla [Julianna Marguilies]. This year they go to Rachel's parents for thanksgiving. Thanksgiving dinner as you would expect involves uncles and aunties and other extended family. Although Herb and Ruth are aware that their daughter is a lesbian, they do not want the
rest of the extended family to know. On a background of
Rachel wanting her family to accept her, lesbian bits included, the conversation at the dinner table is initially tense and subsequently....
Lizzy Avila [Mercedes Ruehl] is a latin american mother recently separated from her husband. She has finally come to the point in her life when she wants to be happy. The children have all grown up and she has done her bit to stay true to them but it's time to move on with her life. And amazingly, she finds a tender, loving attentive man who falls in love with her. Not the happy ending because there is a lot of pressure from Lizzy's children to get back with her ex-husband, Javier. And a lot of animosity towards Daniel, the new man. All comes to a head when Javier and Daniel meet on Thanksgiving.
Audrey [Alfre Woodard] and Ron Williams [Dennis Haysbert] are an African American couple also with kids. They have dreams for the future of their son Michael and their daughter Kristin and have worked hard to safeguard their childrens future. Unfortunately there is a lot of doing and very little listening going on. resulting in a crisis in the family. All comes to a head at thanksgiving dinner
Trihn Nguyen [Joan Chen] and her husband are Vietnamese Americans who try to bring up their children according to Vietnamese culture. Problem is the children are American and so feel remote from traditional Vietnamese values. The difficulties and lies this breeds in the family leads to series of events that rapidly spiral out of control with life threatening consequences
Four households, all neighbours, all celebrating thanksgiving, each withs it's own complex set of issues
What's Cooking Trailer
What's Cooking Movie Clip
of Whats Cooking
Altogether a feel good movie.
The acting obviously is very good as you would expect in a film featuring Julianna Marguiles [ER], Kyra Sedgwick [The Closer], Alfre Woodward [Mandela], Mercedes Ruehl [Gia], Joan Chen [Wild things and Saving Face], Dennis Haysbert  you expect and get nothing less than perfect acting
Ensemble dramas are not something I generally go for. There often is not enough time to develop each character fully. But what's cooking is different. You watched the film and felt you knew each of the characters pretty well. Put that down to a good script combined with some pretty nifty acting
The issues facing these families are real life everyday issues. Theses are the ones which over time can wear any family down.
The lesbian story albeit brief is probably the best portrayals of a lesbian couple you'll see in cinema. Kyra and Julianna make a pretty convincing and attractive lesbian couple. The chemistry between them seemed natural and comfortable
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