The Wedding Banquet (Xi yan) (1993) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Wedding Banquet (Xi yan) (1993)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

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

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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

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Cast

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 (26) | Top Critics (8)

A very adroit and entertaining social comedy.

April 4, 2012 | Full Review…

Most of this is smoothly done and scripted with plenty of incident.

February 23, 2012 | Full Review…

Never patronising his characters, Ang Lee combines comedy, both subtle and raucous, with acute social asides.

January 26, 2006 | Full Review…

It is the unusual film comedy in which the humor springs as much from character as from situation.

May 20, 2003 | Rating: 4/5

The Wedding Banquet never becomes bogged down by its own seriousness. Lee manages to keep the production buoyant by including scenes that are often riotously funny.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

A sweet, perceptive story about the cost of deception and the power of family rituals.

January 1, 2000 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Wedding Banquet (Xi yan)

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 Ortega
Jesse Ortega

Super Reviewer

Wonderful portrait of what seems like a good idea at the time which spins wildly out of control and changes everyone involved, ultimately for the better even if its not immediately apparent at the time. Beautiful ending.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Ang Lee's portrayal of the hot gay love pre-Brokeback. It's sweeter, wittier, and infinitely more Asian. The girl was a bitch.

Jennifer Xu
Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer

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