The Wedding Banquet (Xi Yan): A Taiwanese-American gay man living happily with his partner succumbs to the pressure of his overbearing traditional parents and arranges an elaborate sham hetero wedding.
Country: Taiwan/USA, 1993
Original Language: Mandarin Chinese and English
Zavi thinks: Many people don’t realize that Brokeback Mountain was not the first major gay film that Ang Lee directed. This film will always hold a special place in my memory because the first time I watched it was for a Chinese language class (and I think the staff who selected it did so because they knew there were a large number of queer students in the program). That random fact aside, many scenes in this movie are hilarious, especially the parts where the main character is ‘being straight’ while on various female dates.
Panda thinks: I am a big fan of Ang Lee and really enjoyed seeing one of his earlier films. It’s neat to see how much his style has developed over time, because while this film is fairly good, it is still somewhat of an amateur work. This film really explores the complexities of family relations, especially the pressures that people face (even as adults) to live up to parental expectations. It’s is light and enjoyable and wouldn’t be awkward to watch in a big group or even with your family.