What’s Cooking?

Why did it take until 2000 for someone to make the perfect Thanksgiving film? Maybe it took a woman who was born in Kenya to appreciate the holiday and what it means to Americans other than those whose ancestors came over on the Mayflower. Gurinder Chadha’s delicious holiday treat takes place in four different American households. One is Vietnamese-American, one is African-American, one is Latin, and one is Jewish. Joan Chen leads the cast in the Vietnamese household, the gorgeous Mercedes Ruehl leads the house in the Latin family, Alfre Woodard leads the African-American household and Lainie Kazan rules the Jewish household. There are teenage children rebelling, college children dating people from other races, other college-aged children acting out politically, and adult children in lesbian relationships. All this confuses the parents who just want their children to grow up safe and happy. What’s Cooking is comfort food in the greatest way possible. The stories are heart-warming, the food styling gorgeous and sometimes hysterical. It’s the humor that fuses all these stories together. And in the end, all the families come together for a moment. A perfectly wonderful film from the director of Bend It Like Beckham. Not to be missed. I try to watch this every year in November. A 5 out of 5 for comfort food and food styling. Just lovely.

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