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Monday, February 16, 2009

Movie comparisons.. oh.. the food..

I got a Netflix account when I found out that I can watch free movies through my Xbox 360 with their new "Instant Watch" service.. omfg.. I have caught up on an insane amount of Anime... okay ehem.. let's get to this post.. LOL Okay.. First thing is first.. I went by the recommendations of people on the Netflix site and round this totally adorable movie called "Tortilla Soup". I watched it around 3 am and was soooooooooo hungry for the food shown.. (you have no idea how much I kept going "oh so that's how they do that..") that I emailed my friend Carol going "you have to watch this movie.. I went on to describe it and she goes.. "uhm.. that's a remake of the movie Eat, Drink, Man, Woman that I blogged about!!!".. LOL wow.. sorry.. had a moment. So.. still being a Netflix account I rented the movie (since it was not available through instant watch the way Tortilla Soup was) and it arrived on Friday. Just saw it this morning (also 3 am..) and was dumbstruck as to how different the feel of each movie was!

Both stories have to do with a Widower who is a semi-retired Chef raising 3 grown daughters. Each has their own lives that finally start to branch out into their own leaving their father to deal with the loss. In each film the father continues a tradition of elaborate Sunday meals that would make any restaurant experience seem bland.. Father feels out of touch with his daughter's lives and tries to change his own situation by doing something else. Friend's mother comes back into her life and she goes to try to seduce the widower to unexpected results. Obviously knowing that this was the original movie that Tortilla soup was based on.. and because I saw Tortilla Soup first.. I expected it to be a complete rip of the original. When it first started there were similar things shown. One daughter was an executive with an open relationship with her boyfriend whom she didn't want to commit to, one was a born again Christian who was an old maid and the last was a young college age student who got involved with her friend's ex boyfriend. That's BOTH movies in a nutshell. That's where the similarities end.

I can't believe how different in feel they were. Obviously growing up rowdy Latin I was cackling and crying and laughing in Tortilla Soup because I was going "yep.. that's my Aunt".. "omg.. that's close to my Uncle..".. and "Damn that's my cousin.." and "oh that might be my sister.".. With Eat, Drink, Man, Woman.. I felt so out of place because it wasn't my culture but wow.. what an eye-opener! Granted Tortilla Soup was profoundly Mexican (and I'm Puerto Rican), I still found myself drooling more in Tortilla Soup rather than Eat, Drink, Man, Woman.. because I didn't know what anything tasted like.. in Tortilla Soup I was going "OMFG I WANT THAT".. and half the time in Eat, Drink, Man, Woman I was going "wtf... " Especially the frogs.. omg.. the frogs..

A few of the major differences was how the exact same story was different in each CULTURE.. Chinese.. no one talks to each other and if they do it's like one word answers.. Latin culture.. Dad is domineering and there's an all out drag out shouting match with various household items flying in the air.. NO one keeps opinions to themselves in Latin Culture.. in the Chinese movie.. only the Divorced woman's Mom was the yapper.. I found it interesting that in the Chinese movie the youngest daughter got pregnant.. in the Latin Culture there would have been a homicide by Dad.. trust me on this.. LOL It would have been Eat, Drink, Man.. wtf did you do to my little girl.. BANG.. movie over.. last shot is of either Dad in Jail or his funeral because he shot himself and his family after that.. ehem.. sorry.. see what I mean about different cultures? In Tortilla Soup there was CONSTANT chatter and talking and chatter and talking.. and eating.. and chatter and talking.. Eat Drink Man Woman I didn't have any trouble keeping up with the subtitles because there wasn't much dialogue!

The ending was also decidedly different. The middle girl rejects the job to Barcelona becomes a chef and everyone is all happy and living close to each other like one big happy rowdy family in Tortilla Soup.. In Eat Drink Man Woman.. they all seem to be completely away from each other and it's almost "felt" like a sad ending. The middle girl did go to Amsterdam, came back and bought her father's home and went on with her life basically alone.

The food.. oy the food.. I drooled every 10 seconds in Tortilla Soup.. having had a lot of the dishes or dreamed about having them but didn't have gold bullion lying around.. while in Eat Drink Man Woman I had no clue what anything tasted like.. half the ingredients I was freaking out with and the other half I was bewildered.. I'm sure Carol was having foodgasms in Eat Drink Man Woman while I was having my foodgasms with Tortilla Soup!

All in all both movies were wonderful! I wouldn't consider them chick flicks but they were really cute cultural movies that had a fantastic display of food! If you want my recommendation.. rent them both! Culturally you will enjoy the differences! I plan to own both movies at some point.


chaki said...

Intresting... how the same plot can result in such different movies because of the cultural differences. I will definitely rent both movies in the summer (only time I get to watch videos) and do a comparison, enlighten you on the food!!!

I saw Eat Drink Man Woman ages ago, but I thought the ending was happy because the youngest daughter got out the truth without being disowed. (Youngest in the family are usually given more freedom to misbehave...)

The middle daughter got her freedom without guilt. At that time, I was single and working away from my father... so acknowledging that the separation was okay echoed my life.

Now, if you can only enlighten us on what was being served in Tortilla Soup...

Arsenette said...

Oh geez that can take a long blog.. and most of it believe it or not was traditional Spaniard food.. a little authentic Mexican and some Tex Mex. I actually preferred some of the food that the daughter cooked because that's Nuevo Latino (Neo whatever.. I tend to like Neo Japanese rather than traditional for obvious reasons :p )

Watching both movies just rehashed the many conversations you and I have had for the past year over cultural differences. One subject and a 180 degree difference in opinions and treatment! I was in shock for most of the movie (I returned it but will buy it actually) and was amazed how one single event was so differently portrayed. I spent a lot of time going over old emails and reading in the differences and it was so evident in these 2 movies. I can't even say a remake of the first because.. well.. it's just an adaptation.. I explained it to hubby and he said "changing culture was enough to make a completely different movie".. when you see both you will see what I mean.

I didn't even think about the idea of freedom when watching this. Interesting take. Like I mentioned that the movie was decidedly Mexican.. it's funny.. but it is different in how a Puerto Rican Family would do. Hard to explain.. it's like saying Japanese and Chinese.. both are Asian countries but no way in Hades will they be confused culturally. Same with Latin Culture. 27 countries that share the same language.. and that's .. about it.. :D

tricia said...

Adding these movies to my "to watch" list. Haven't done Netflix - always hated this mail service but now with the PO box, may have to check it out again.

Arsenette said...

Well Tortilla Soup is on their instant play but Eat Drink Man Woman is not. Oh and just a warning the Taiwan movie is in Chinese with English subtitles. I know a bunch of people are turned off by that but I much prefer watching something subtitled than dubbed. I prefer hearing the actor's perform even if it's not in my native language. Something gets lost in the translation when it's dubbed.

chaki said...

Okay, okay. I'll watch the movie and drool over it myself. Mexican, nuevo or otherwise I like. Actually I'm even a fan of Russian and English food, two cultures not known for their gastronomy... LOL

About the only stuff I avoid are chicken feet and raw liver and they are stuff I grew up with, so it's easy to be open to other cuisines. LOL

I think our conversations are interesting because we never accept each other's explanations of ANYTHING at face value until the lightbulb actually pops on and we GET IT. (But then half the time, others can't follow or don't care.) LOL

I promise more time in April....

Arsenette said...

Aahahahah very true :) I explain stuff to hubby and he gives me a "oooookay.. you and her have fun.."

Cool both of you let me know if you see it :) Don't expect Academy Award material.. it's just cute is all. Personally adored Rachel Welch's character because she really really gets on your nerves.. I mean .. normally I hate characters like that.. but I have a few family members that would say "omg that's so and so" to back me up.. I swear my family is mental.

Anonymous said...

eat drink man woman is a very old movie from years,many years ago. Taiwanese movie. Old male actor ( dad ) is already gone now...a few years back. was interesting back then