Posted by: fudgie99 | January 26, 2009

What’s Cooking

whatSo I was a little late starting the blog to get this post at the proper holiday time, so keep it in mind for next Thanksgiving if you’re looking for a lesbian friendly, ethnically diverse, family focussed movie revolving around turkey day.

It follows four families- one Jewish, one hispanic, one Vietnamese, and one African American- as they prepare for Thanksgiving dinner.

To highlight the lesbians- Kyra Sedgwick and Julianna Margulies play girlfriends Rachel and Carla who go to Rachel’s parents for the holidays. Although not out and out hostile, they are awkward and stand offish with Carla, and have the classic lesbian lament that they want their daughter to be happy, have a family, blah, blah, blah, blah. I could relate alot to the dynamic- not out and out hostile, but the undercurrent of disappointment and shame.

As the meal approaches they ask the women not to come out to the visiting aunt and uncle (go George’s mom from Seinfeld!) and tension ensues at the dinner table.

This is echoed in the other three story lines where all family drama comes to a head at dinner. I really enjoyed all the story lines. You get a rather understated performance for Joan Chen (just in case your keeping score of her lesbian movie cred, I think she’s got three  under her belt- I’ll review the other one in the future) Correct me if you know otherwise. Mercedes Ruehl  and Audre Woodard head up the other two households. Rachel’s mother is actually the mother in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, playing a much more reserved version of Tula’s mom.

The movie, besides dealing with homophobia in families, also brought up issues of racism and sexism. When Mercedes Ruehl’s daughter brings her Vietnamese boyfriend to dinner- her father does  a Bruce Lee impression and pretends to do karate. In the Asian family, I felt the expectations for the only daughter were much higher than for her brothers. In the African American family, the son is resentful of his father’s high paying job for a bigotted mayor. Nothing really gets resolved on these fronts (I feel the lesbians make a little more headway with their family), but it was an interesting illustration of cultural ignorance and expectations.

All in all, I enjoyed this movie a lot- mmmmmm- lesbians and food- a great combination for me. The lesbian couple was affectionate and comfortable with each other, not overly sexual- what you’d expect at one’s parents’ house (unless your watching Kissing Jessica Stein). The movie never tries to be too serious, so you can observe, without feeling preached too.

Favorite lines

“I’m in the crack again-all night I’ve been in the crack.”

“You got any whip cream for my coffee?”

“We can rinse it” ( in regards to a fallen turkey)

3 STARS- gets an introduction with Josie and Dulce (my two cats)

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