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The Wedding Banquet

The Wedding Banquet is a 1993 romantic comedy film directed by Ang Lee and starring Winston Chao, May Chin, Gua Ah-leh, Sihung Lung, and Mitchell Lichtenstein. The screenplay concerns a bisexual Taiwanese immigrant man who marries a mainland Chinese woman to placate his parents and get her a green card. His plan backfires when his parents arrive in the United States to plan his wedding banquet and he has to hide the truth of his gay partner.

Plot

Wai-Tung Gao and Simon are a happy gay couple living in Manhattan. Wai-Tung is in his late 20s, so his traditionally-minded parents are eager to see him get married and have a child in order to continue the family line. When Wai-Tung's parents hire a dating service, he and Simon stall for time by inventing impossible demands. They demand an opera singer and add that she must be 5'9", have two PhDs, and speak five languages. The service actually locates a 5'8" Chinese woman who sings Western opera, speaks five languages and has a single PhD. She is very gracious when Wai-Tung explains his dilemma, as she, too, is hiding a relationship (with a white man). At Simon's insistence, Wai-Tung decides to marry one of his tenants, Wei-Wei, a penniless artist from mainland China in need of a green card. Besides helping Wei-Wei, Simon and Wai-Tung hope that this will placate Wai-Tung's parents. Before Wai-Tung's parents arrive, Simon tells Wei-Wei everything she needs to know about Wai-Tung's habits, body, and lifestyle, and the three take down all homosexual content from their house and replace it with traditional Chinese scrolls.

Awards