The Wedding Banquet

Watch The Wedding Banquet

"A little deception at the reception."
  • R
  • 1993
  • 1 hr 46 min
  • 7.6  (16,985)

The Wedding Banquet is a 1993 movie directed by Ang Lee, that tells the story of a young New York-based Taiwanese-American named Wai-Tung Gao, played by Winston Chao, who is in a loving relationship with his gay partner Simon, played by Mitchell Lichtenstein. However, Wai-Tung's parents, who still live in Taiwan, are unaware of his sexuality, and always pressure him to get married and have children. When Wai-Tung's father becomes seriously ill, his parents decide to visit him in New York, giving Wai-Tung the perfect opportunity to hide his sexuality and pretend he has a girlfriend.

To avoid arousing any suspicion, Wai-Tung and his partner Simon enlist the help of their friend Wei-Wei, played by May Chin, to pose as Wai-Tung's fiancé. But things become complicated when Wai-Tung's parents arrive in New York and insist on meeting their son's future bride.

The Wedding Banquet brilliantly explores themes of cultural clashes, identity, and family dynamics in a humorous and heartwarming way. The film captures the essence of the Taiwanese family, with its overbearing parents, traditional customs and the dynamic shared between generations.

As the wedding preparations advance, tensions rise, and Wai-Tung confronts his internal conflict over hiding his sexuality from his loved ones. He also grapples with how his identity evolves between the western cultural norms he has come to accept, and the cultural norms of his homeland.

The standout performance in the movie comes from Winston Chao, who sensitively plays a character that is torn between duty and love while grappling with his own identity. May Chin delivers a strong performance as Wei-Wei as she gets involved in the turmoil of the family dynamics, ultimately coming to realize that she is not only helping Wai-Tung but also discovering her self-worth.

But it is not just the well-crafted story or stand out performances that make the movie remarkable. The director Ang Lee masterfully showcases the visuals of New York City, highlighting its vibrant diversity while juxtaposing it against the traditional Taiwanese culture. The film is beautifully shot, and the tight framing of certain moments accentuates the emotional tenor of the scene.

The Wedding Banquet highlights the intersection of cultural traditions, family values, and personal desires in a humorous and heartwarming way. While the film's central theme is Wai-Tung's internal conflict about revealing his sexuality to his family, the message extends beyond the story of the gay community. It illuminates the universal human problem of facing a cultural divide when trying to balance duty to family traditions with a personal outlook.

In conclusion, The Wedding Banquet is one of Ang Lee's most successful works and a landmark movie in terms of LGBTQ representation. It is a movie that appeals to audiences who are into romantic comedies, family dramas, and great performances. It handles its subject matter with sensitivity and insight creating a film that is engaging, humorous and emotionally satisfying.

The Wedding Banquet is a 1993 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 46 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.6.

The Wedding Banquet
Where to Watch The Wedding Banquet
The Wedding Banquet is available to watch free on Pluto TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Apple TV Channels, The Roku Channel, Google Play and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The Wedding Banquet for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 46 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.6  (16,985)