The Wedding Banquet (1993) Directed by Ang lee is a very clever romantic comedy. It is about a Gay Taiwanese immigrant Wai-Tung Gao who lives with his gay partner Simon in Manhattan, NY. They seem to have a very happy life together although Wai-Tung has been keeping this relationship a secret from his very old-fashioned parents. Mrs. Gao has her son registered with some dating company in hopes that Wai-Tung would meet a girl to marry and have a family of his own to continue the family name. Also, so that Mr. and Mrs. Gao can have grand children like they’ve always wanted. Once Wai-Tung’s mother finds a girl from the dating service and sends her to the USA to meet Wai-Tung he and Simon come up with a scheme to avoid the arranged marriage. Wai-Tung kindly tells the young lady that the mother sent to meet him the truth about his situation. She is also relieved because she also has a relationship that her parents would not agree with. The scheme Simon creates is that Wai-Tung will tell his parents that he is dating Wei Wei a chinese woman from the mainland, which is Wai-Tung’s tenant at the building he owns. She is an illegal immigrant and Simon figures that this scheme would also benefit her because if she gets married to Wai-Tung she can receive a green card and stay in the country. Once Wai-Tung revealed the news to his parents Mr. and Mrs. Gao flew across the world and came with $30,000.00 to arrange the wedding ceremony. Once they arrived Wai-Tung insisted on an informal ceremony at city hall. The mother was devastated. So in order to make-up for this an extravagant Wedding Banquet was arranged. Shortly after the Wedding Wei Wei has sex with Wai-Tung while he is super drunk and she gets pregnant. Simon finds out and gets very upset and the relationship between him and Wai-Tung starts to deteriorate. The lie about everything comes to light when Wai-Tung confesses to his mother. Almost immediately after the father the retired Chinese Military general speaks to Simon man to man and lets him know that he knows what going on and that he accepts it as long as his son is happy. He was just very happy about being able to have his grand child. The story ended Happily Wai-Tung and Simon fixed their relationship, Wei Wei gets to live with them in a comfortable home keeps the child and gets her green card. They decide to raise the child between the 3 of them. The parents are happy and they return to Taiwan with the Photo album of the Wedding Banquet.
One of the biggest themes that we see in this movie is Family value. The only reason Wai-Tung is lying to his parents is because of how he was raised. He knew that if his parents were to find out about his true lifestyle that they would not approve and perhaps disown him. Even when he chose to have a small city hall ceremony and the mother was not satisfied. For the honor of his family he went along with the extravagant ceremony so that he would not let them down. Another theme is Honesty, although it doesn’t show up until near the end of the film. Sometimes honesty is truly the best policy, ultimately they have a happy ending once the truth came out.
I truly enjoyed this film. It was very interesting and the story line was captivating. Although it was a movie created by Taiwanese director I found it very easy to follow because there was a mix of English in this film along with the traditional Chinese language of Mandarin. Its always nice to see happy endings, and although there were a lot of ups and downs at the end you cant help but smile. I recommend this movie. Very good.