6.9/10
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54 user 37 critic

What's Cooking? (2000)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 1 December 2000 (USA)
Trailer
2:28 | Trailer
Four families in LA of different ethnicity (Latino, Asian/Vietnamese, African and Jewish) gather together for Thanksgiving dinner.

Director:

Gurinder Chadha
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mercedes Ruehl ... Elizabeth Avila
Victor Rivers ... Javier Avila
Douglas Spain ... Anthony Avila
Maria Carmen ... Sofia Avila
Isidra Vega ... Gina Avila
Elena Lopez Elena Lopez ... Grandma Avila
A Martinez ... Daniel
Richard Yniguez ... Robert Avila
Lorraine Perez Lorraine Perez ... Auntie Delores
Eva Rodriguez Eva Rodriguez ... Auntie Eva
Adrian Armas ... Avila Cousin
Caz Caz ... Gordo
Joan Chen ... Trinh Nguyen
François Chau ... Duc Nguyen (as Francois Chau)
Will Yun Lee ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Gregory Itzin and Dennis Haysbert would go on to play two U.S. presidents, David Palmer and Charles Logan, in Fox's "24." See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Resident: Peking Duck Day (2019) 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
See more »

User Reviews

 
Delightful Women-Focused, Multi-Ethnic Celebration of Family
6 December 2005 | by noraleeSee 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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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English | Spanish | Vietnamese | Yiddish

Release Date:

1 December 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

What's Cooking? See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$144,586, 19 November 2000

Gross USA:

$1,045,899

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,698,759
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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