The Wedding Banquet (Xi yan)


The Wedding Banquet (Xi yan)

Critics Consensus

Ang Lee's funny and ultimately poignant comedy of manners reveals the filmmaker's skill across genres.



Total Count: 28


Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,239
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Movie Info

A gay New Yorker stages a marriage of convenience with a young woman to satisfy his traditional Taiwanese family, but the wedding becomes a major inconvenience when his parents fly in for the ceremony. Director Ang Lee came to international prominence with this warm-hearted comedy, which centers on the farcical confusion that emerges from this deception. Gao Wai Tung (Winston Chao) has never shared the truth about his sexuality with his family, and hopes to disguise his long-term relationship with his lover Simon by marrying Wei-Wei, a young artist who's only it for the green card. But Wai Tung's parents refuse to let him off the hook easily, showing up to plan a massive wedding banquet. Indeed, much of the film's comedy springs from the contrast between the sheer lavishness of the parents' plans and the sham nature of the wedding. Naturally, the titular party spins out of control, leading to a series of events that threatens all of Wai Tung's relationships. ~ Judd Blaise, Rovi


Winston Chao
as Wai Tung
May Chin
as Wei Wei
Sihung Lung
as Mr. Gao
Ah-Leh Gua
as Mrs. Gao
Tien Pien
as Old Chen
Neal Huff
as Steve
Michael Gaston
as Justice of the Peace
Jeffrey Howard
as Street Musician
Anthony 'Iggy' Ingoglia
as Restaurant Manager
Jeanne Kuo Chang
as Wai Tung's Secretary
Mason Lee
as Child Jumping on Bed (uncredited)
Ang Lee
as Wedding Guest
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Critic Reviews for The Wedding Banquet (Xi yan)

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (27) | Rotten (1)

Audience Reviews for The Wedding Banquet (Xi yan)

  • Nov 10, 2011
    I thought this was a really good movie dragged down with needless melodrama in the last 25 minutes or so, poor English dialogue (and some corny subtitles for Mandarin during the melodramatic moments), pacing being hit and miss, and just an overall poor performance from Winston Chao. Other than that, this movie is quite good. There's some funny scenes in the movie, but if it was supposed to be hilarious then I never got it, other than the banquet scene, which was entertaining but also went on too goddamn long. The movie has a good story that had the potential to be better than it really was. Everything in this movie just feels like a missed opportunity. It's a massively disappointing movie since it just doesn't stand the test of time, especially compared to some of Ang's later films. But again, it's still a good movie, just one I wouldn't exactly recommend.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Jun 27, 2011
    Good but dated. Ang Lee did a great job directing and the script is strong.
    Sunil J Super Reviewer
  • Oct 30, 2009
    The best of Lee's Taiwanese Trilogy!!
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Apr 08, 2009
    Ang Lee s romantic comedy drama The Wedding Banquet was about a gay Wai Tun,living in New York and son of a traditional Taiwanese family, who had never told his family the truth about his sexuality.He agreed to marry Wei Wei a young artist who did this only for the green card and for his family so they would never found out he was gay . Everything, as common in comedies, became complicated when his family arrived in New York for the wedding. The Taiwanese culture was quite funny and here you could experience traditions which were not yours in a funny way. Ang Lee is a great director and this romantic comedy he gave the messages about honesty and acceptance. It was a very enjoyable movie with some funny scenes but also some sad ones.
    Daisy M Super Reviewer

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