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Eat a Bowl of Tea (1989)

6.4
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Ratings: 6.4/10 from 504 users  
Reviews: 13 user | 8 critic

A study in culture bridging, including ... a new US-born husband, trying to work within the traditional ways, a new China-born wife, eager to join the "dream" of America, two family-minded ... See full summary »

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Title: Eat a Bowl of Tea (1989)

Eat a Bowl of Tea (1989) on IMDb 6.4/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Cora Miao ...
Mei Oi
...
Ben Loy
...
Wah Gay
...
Lee Gong
...
Ah Song (as Eric Tsiang Chi Wai)
Sau Kei Lee ...
Bok Fat (as Lee Sau Kee)
Yuen Fat Fai ...
Letter Writer
Fan Hui ...
Ben Loy's Mother (as Hui Fun)
Lan Law ...
Aunt Gim
Yuen Yee Ng ...
Third Sister
Wu Ming Yu ...
Mei Oi's Mother
Ta Lei ...
Movie Translator (as Lui Tat)
Wai Wong ...
Chuck Ting
Philip Chan ...
Henry Wang
Yu-yung Teng ...
Fat Man (as Tang Shun Nin)
Edit

Storyline

A study in culture bridging, including ... a new US-born husband, trying to work within the traditional ways, a new China-born wife, eager to join the "dream" of America, two family-minded fathers, lots of gender-related social bifurcations. Written by LoneStarNot <lonestarnot@usbol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Ben Loy has a small problem, with his wife, his father and half of Chinatown. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

10 January 1990 (France)  »

Also Known As:

A szemük sem áll jól  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

$231,423 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Connections

Features Lost Horizon (1937) See more »

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User Reviews

Nicely shot.
25 September 2003 | by (The San Francisco Bay Area) – See all my reviews

I remember seeing portions of this film shot at the now defunct and torn down San Francisco Studios. It was an interesting project that was one of many independent films being funded and shot at the time. My one anecdotal memory is seeing much of the crew and the studio employees being ushered out of the infamous Stage 2 (a warehouse like structure with little to no baffling, that served more as a storage area than an actual sound-stage) for the "love making" scenes. Seeing this film over a decade later I can't really understand what all the hub-bub was about ... unless the actors were nude underneath the sheets or something. In any event the bedroom scenes were shot sans an audience.

Oh well.

It's a nice little film that, for some reason, is labeled by Blockbuster Video as a "comedy." Certainly there're a couple of humorous moments, but once again the marketing types pull a bait-and-switch on this customer by labeling a light drama a comedy. This is NOT a comedy. However it does raise a smile here and there, and occasionally a chuckle, and, in spite of the intentional mis-labeling, it is a very good film.

The script moves along well enough. There's a fine story here, but the film's title, for myself, is a missed opportunity. And, unlike in other films, the cultural and generational gaps aren't played up to the hilt. That's a definite plus for this movie. Quality over quantity is given a premium in this movie. Yet at the same time the "message" and title of the film is almost too subtle to grasp, and is only made openly manifest in the final scenes. Even then you have to be somewhat on your toes to catch it.

It's a likable film. The lighting is nicely done, and was the foremost technical aspect that I noticed in this film. The cinematography is intimate and very straightforward. The acting is very fine; no over the top performances, nor understated moments; all characters are given appropriate exposure, and state their messages with emotional clarity.

The film is somewhat slow, but not overly, as is Wayne Wang's style. Overall a well stated film regarding Chinese-American society (specifically a newly wed couple, circa post WW2). It's by no means a gut-busting comedy, though there are comic moments in it. If you're expecting lots of laughs, then don't see this film. If you're expecting some mildly humorous situations told in a dramatic vein, then this film will probably entertain :)

Enjoy!


9 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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