The movie The Wedding Banquet is an exceptional narrative on assimilation and homosexuality. In the film, we see the struggle between Wai-Tung’s traditional Chinese background and the individuality of American lifestyle. By allowing himself to be homosexual, it’s almost as if he’s rejecting his traditional Chinese upbringing and choosing his own path. If he did as he parents have chosen for him and married into a heterosexual relationship, he would only be doing this because of his family. This battle between individuality and family is a common theme in assimilation.
Throughout the movie, I was also curious as to what audience type this film was direct towards. Was this an American film or a Chinese film. Further research helped me to discover that this movie was released in both Taiwan and United States. I felt the film was very racy for a Taiwanese audience. I wondered how the intimacy of Wai-Tung and Simon was accepted in Taiwan. Even in the United States, there must have been some uneasiness amongst audience members. Not only were these scenes involving homosexual men, but homosexual men of color.
The best part of this film is that it pushes boundaries, racially and sexually. For a film of 1993, this is great. Even the issues of abortion were briefly addressed in the film. I loved this movie, and the taboo issues it invoked. But then again, it makes me wonder if we have truly progressed in the last fifteen years.