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What's Cooking? (2000)



Average Rating: 5.5/10
Reviews Counted: 66
Fresh: 34 | Rotten: 32

What's Cooking? is well-acted, but the scenes sometimes sink into melodrama as characters scream at each other, and the movie as a whole is too lightweight and forgettable.


Average Rating: 5/10
Critic Reviews: 21
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 13

What's Cooking? is well-acted, but the scenes sometimes sink into melodrama as characters scream at each other, and the movie as a whole is too lightweight and forgettable.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 1,487

My Rating

Movie Info

Kenyan-born, London-educated Indian filmmaker Gurinder Chadha follows up on her debut hit Bhaji on the Beach (1994) with this gentle look at multiculturalism in Los Angeles. The film details the lives of four ethnically diverse families -- black, Latino, Jewish, and Asian -- during one frantic Thanksgiving. The film opens with Ronald (Dennis Haysbert), an African-American who works as a spin doctor for the Republican politico; he and his wife Audrey (Alfre Woodard) are in the midst of preparing


Drama, Comedy

Gurinder Chadha, Paul Mayeda Berges

Apr 10, 2001


Trimark Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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Latest News on What's Cooking?

November 24, 2005:
A Day to Give Thanks (for Good Thanksgiving Movies!)
The Newsday column gets to take a few days off during the big holidays, but I couldn't let today go...


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All Critics (79) | Top Critics (24) | Fresh (34) | Rotten (32) | DVD (10)

This valentine to the cultural diversity that defines L.A. is a second-tier Altman (or even Paul Thomas Anderson)a broad, accessible comedy that contrasts four large and dynamic families residing on the same street: Latino, black, Jewish, and Asian.

December 20, 2006 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film collapses under the weight of stereotypes and a hackneyed concept.

January 1, 2000
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It wears both its heart and its politics too obviously on its sleeve for comfort.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
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Because the stories are so skillfully threaded together, the movie doesn't feel like an exercise: Each of the stories stands on its own.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
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Like the meal itself, the movie's both filling and familiar.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A glorified TV movie.

January 1, 2000
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A bit melodramatic at times, but still charming.

December 29, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

This is a terrific holiday film.

October 21, 2002 Full Review Source: San Diego Metropolitan
San Diego Metropolitan

A flavorless fable that is as hard to swallow as a piece of tough turkey.

November 8, 2001 Full Review Source:

A combination of fresh ingredients mixed together with skill to create a well-balanced harmony of diverse flavours. Delicious.

August 20, 2001 Full Review Source:

A multi-culti hodgepodge of sitcom stereotypes and old jokes centered on one, painfully weak premise.

April 16, 2001 Full Review Source: Movieline

I enjoy kissing women, and I'd be happy to do it again.

April 4, 2001 Full Review Source: PopcornQ

An overstuffed casserole of some good intentions and many more missed opportunities.

February 7, 2001 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Chadha and co-writer Paul Mayeda Berges' screenplay relies too heavily on melodramatic situations, which are compromised by underdeveloped characters and some serious overacting.

December 28, 2000 Full Review Source: PopMatters

Warm-hearted but completely forgettable.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Internet Reviews
Internet Reviews

Many of the ingredients in this movie melting-pot quickly become so sweet as to spoil the soup.

January 1, 2000
TNT's Rough Cut

A slightly entertaining piece of fluff that is for all intents and purposes a TV pilot.

January 1, 2000
Greenwich Village Gazette

Burdened with a largely uninspired script that serves up stock characters and one too many clichés.

January 1, 2000

May be the first film in history where the food has infinitely more personality than the people.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Matinee Magazine
Matinee Magazine

Audience Reviews for What's Cooking?

Great actors, but not very interesting storyline. A little too stereotypical, a lot too trite and concocted. Entertaining enough to watch to its conclusion, but not a very satisfying movie in the end.
May 2, 2011

Super Reviewer

Definitely watchable with some great performances (sup Alfre Woodard), but also painfully heavy handed.
November 13, 2008
Joey Nevarez

Super Reviewer

A cute holiday movie. Wasn't especially memorable but the cast was good and the writing was alright.
June 25, 2010

Super Reviewer

A nice slice of LA suburban life.
July 7, 2008

Super Reviewer

    1. Jenny Nguyen: Why do you want to make the turkey taste like everything else we eat?
    2. Trinh Nguyen: Why do you want everything you eat to taste like MacDonald's?
    – Submitted by Frances H (12 months ago)
View all quotes (1)

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