What’s Cooking Film Analysis

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Abstract

The film, What’s Cooking , was created and directed by Gurinder Chadha, and released in year 2000. In the movie, we see the day in the life of four culturally different families on Thanksgiving day. The families depicted in the film include a hispanic family, a jewish family, an african american family, as well as an asian, specifically from vietnam. Due to their diverse backgrounds the families experience a different form of Thanksgiving from the food, their beliefs, and relationships.

For our first concept we will be discussing homosexuality (Chapter 6, pages 155-165), specifically the accpetance of homosexualoty within the jewish community. Homosexuality is defined as, of, relating to, or characterized by a tendency to direct sexual desire toward another of the same sex. based on the Merriam-Webster definition of homozexuality. In the movie, we see two girls meeting each other at the airport, Rachel and Carla. It’s not obvious that the two are in a relationship at the beginning since Rachel quotes, I’m not exactly in a hurry, sis. after a woman at the airport assumes the two women are sisters.

As the movie progresses, you begin to see the relationship between the women grow. In one scene the women push the beds together so the two can sleep together and cuddle during the night. You can also see the struggle between the characters as they debate whether or not to be open about their relationship and if family Rachel’s family will accept them for who they are. Since Rachel’s family follows the jewish religion they struggle with the fact that their daughter is in a relationship with another woman. You can tell the parents are uncomfortable because they question where they went wrong as parents and even go so far to provide the girls with seperate beds in Rachel’s room.

In our second concept we will be discussing respect in Asian culture (Chapters 2 & 5, pages 50-52, 141-143). In most of asian culture respect is highly valued, especially respect towards older members within your family. The movie shows us a family that has moved to the United States from vietnam. The family consists of the mother (Trinh) and father (Duc), along with their four children Jimmy, Jenny, Gary, and Joey. The family also consists of extended members such as Duc’s mother and father.

Jimmy is the oldest child of the family and is currently away at college. Jimmy is highly respected by both his parents and siblings as he fulfills his role of going off to college to obtain a better education. Jimmy is praised by his mother whereas Jenny and Gary are not as praised.Tinah feels as though her children are becoming too Americanized as her children begin to act inappropriately in her eyes with Gary bringing home a gun and Jenny having a condom in her backpack. She feels some sort of disappointment and looks towards Jimmy for some sort of advice because he was the son that always did the right thing and respected his older members.

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