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What's Cooking? (2000)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 1 December 2000 (USA)
In LA's Fairfax district, where ethnic groups abound, four households celebrate Thanksgiving amidst family tensions. In the Nguyen family, the children's acculturation and immigrant parents... See full summary »

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1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Elizabeth 'Lizzy' Avila
... Javier Avila
... Anthony 'Tony' Avila
Maria Carmen ... Sofia Avila
... Gina Avila
Elena Lopez ... Grandma Avila
... Daniel 'Danny'
... Robert Avila
... Auntie Delores
Eva Rodriguez ... Auntie Eva
... Avila Cousin
Caz ... Gordo - The Avila's Dog
... Trinh Nguyen
... Duc Nguyen (as Francois Chau)
... Jimmy Nguyen
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Storyline

In LA's Fairfax district, where ethnic groups abound, four households celebrate Thanksgiving amidst family tensions. In the Nguyen family, the children's acculturation and immigrant parents' fears collide. In the Avila family, Isabel's son has invited her estranged husband to their family dinner. Audrey and Ron Williams want to keep their own family's ruptures secret from Ron's visiting mother. In the Seelig household, Herb and Ruth are unwilling to discuss openly their grown daughter's living with her lover, Carla. Around each table, things come to a head. A gun, an affair, a boyfriend, and a pregnancy precipitate crises forcing each family to find its center. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Thanksgiving. A celebration of food, tradition and relative insanity. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sexuality, brief language and a perilous situation | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Language:

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Release Date:

1 December 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Négy vacsora  »

Filming Locations:


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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$144,586, 19 November 2000, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$1,039,374, 29 December 2000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Connections

References Bonanza (1959) See more »

Soundtracks

24-7-365 (Remix)
Performed by Type 4
Written by Tom Williams, Brian Cantwell and Matt Reyes
Published by Dirtneck Music
Courtesy of World One Records
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User Reviews

 
Delightful Women-Focused, Multi-Ethnic Celebration of Family
6 December 2005 | by See all my reviews

"What's Cooking" is one of the most non-dogmatic feminist movies I've seen (as compared to say "24 Hour Woman") as exemplified by a climactic scene of one mother stuffing her face with two pieces of homemade pie amidst crisis while declaring "I'm weak? Is it weak to want to hold the family together?"

So many holiday or family gathering movies (like "Avalon" and "Hannah and her Sisters" and "Eat Drink Man Woman") have been made by men and they always felt off balance to me compared to my observations and experiences. Here the women in the kitchen are symbolically and functionally at the center of the meal preparation, the meal and the families.

Other women directors have been successful at portraying a single ethnic group's family issues, such as "Double Happiness" or Nancy Savoca's "True Love." But this is a multi-ethnic All-Americans Thanksiving in L.A. (reminding me of the children's book "Molly's Pilgrim") an L.A. where people from different traditions (Vietnamese, Chicano, African-American and Jewish) all integrate the trappings of the Pilgrims into that basic of ethnic identity--food-- to intersect in unexpected ways, at work, in the community, in their homes and in their hearts.

It's an impressive cast of actresses in particular; it's noteworthy that such a stellar cast would do a small indie -- clearly they jump at the chance to get "meaty" roles for women.

The audience laughed, and cried, and gasped. While your popcorn will pale beside the feasts before your eyes, be sure to eat something during the movie cause you'll be real hungry afterwards!

(originally written 11/19/2000)


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