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Word Count: 246
This is truly the Wedding Banquet from Hell the party that ate Manhattan I suppose every ethnic group has its own version of the endless and excruciating nuptial nightmare with many rituals designed to embarrass the bride and groom but the one depicted here is almost entirely charmless I thought the Chinese were supposed to be shy and quiet mutters one Western guest as the festivities threaten to turn into a mass building code violation By the end guests are throwing up violently in the mens room which seems to be a sign that the party has been a big success But as with every event in this thoughtfully directed movie the party has its purposes The rest of the movie is a kind of grand cleanup as Wai-Tung tells his mother the truth and the young people realize the cruelty and selfishness of their deception By the end its hankies all around as they make a pact that allows everyone to get what they want Refreshingly Lee and co-author Neil Peng do not simply condemn the act of deception and moralize on the wages of the sin of anti-homosexual prejudice The effects of self-imposed closeting are seen clearly in the tension and anger that flare up among the three young people but the pain of parents who long for grandchildren is palpable too Deception has its purpose Lee suggests as long as it is used sparingly -- and you can keep a secret
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