What’s Cooking has become a Thanksgiving tradition in our household
The story is centered around four households, all on opposite corners of a housing development in California. One household is three generations of Vietnamese, one is Hispanic, one African American and the other Jewish. The Jewish family has a lesbian daughter, Rachel (Kyra Sedgewick). She and her partner, Carla (Juliann Marguelies) have come home for Thanksgiving to share some big news with her parents.
The movie centers around Thanksgiving dinner preparations in each household, and the not so subtle dysfunctions in each family. Each household prepares a traditional Thanksgiving meal with recipes from their own cultures added in. The food preparation alone is worth watching the movie for, but the intertwined stories show us just how connected we are with neighbors, friends, etc.
The Vietnamese family run a video rental store in a seedy part of LA. They have four children, one son in college, two teenagers in high school and a young son who only wants KFC for Thanksgiving! The children from the Hispanic family are trying to bring their parents back together after their dad cheats on their mom. The African American family’s patriarch works for a conservative, white politician, a man his son despises. As you can imagine, fireworks insue around each dinner table.
The real fun, however, is in the Jewish household. Rachel’s parents have never accepted her relationship with Carla–what did they do wrong?! They lay down a long list of rules for Thanksgiving dinner, in particular, topics that are off limits around Rachel’s aunt and uncle. Of course, the aunt starts the conversation at the table with, “Rachel, why aren’t you married. A beautiful girl like you.” It’s on from there with one hilarious comment after another.
You don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving to watch What’s Cooking. But, you might decide after seeing it to make it a Thanksgiving tradition in your household!