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Hector Elizondo, Jacqueline Obradors, Elizabeth Pena, Tamara Mello, Raquel Welch

Directed by: Maria Ripoll
Written by: Tom Musca, Ramon Menendez, Vera Blas
Produced by: John Bard Manulis
Distributor: Samuel Goldwyn Films ,

US: 24/04/01 UK: 23/08/02

Mexican-American master chef living in LA with his three daughters prepares a magnificent dinner each Sunday night to bring his family together. He has lost his sense of taste and his food does not have the same wonderful flavor that it did once. Outside of Sunday dinner, the members of the family live their own lives..


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Jacqueline Obradors, Elizabeth Pena, Tamara Mello are Ladies Who Lunch

Ang Lee's Eat Drink Man Woman is faithfully adapted into Los Angeles' Mexican-American subculture in this enjoyable ensemble film. The solid story transfers almost exactly from Taiwan to the Latino subculture, spiced up with Mexican food and humour, even if the filmmaking itself is rather dull. It centres around the widower Martin (Elizondo) and his three daughters: sensible spinster schoolteacher Leticia (Pena), sexy independent businesswoman Carmen (Obradors) and free-spirited late teen Mari (Mello). Over the course of the film, everyone deals with romance on some level, while every Sunday Martin cooks outrageous meals that are usually interrupted by a major announcement.

Where Ang Lee's film is clever and insightful, this film is enjoyable and sweet. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it does feel thin and wispy, even as it deals with serious themes under the surface. Instead of an intuitive character comedy, this is really a four-way rom-com. The performances are all superb, and the food looks mouth-wateringly scrumptious (don't go on an empty stomach like I did!). Elizondo is especially good here, and it's nice to see him do something meatier than his usual comic roles in big Hollywood fluff (Pretty Woman, The Princess Diaries). And Welch is funny as a blowsy (!) family friend who sets her sights on Martin. Ripoll's direction is adequate in a slightly simplistic TV-movie style. This is a perfectly nice little movie, with a twisty plot that satisfies on several levels even if it never quite takes advantage of the opportunities.


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