Eat Drink Man Woman Script - Dialogue Transcript

Voila! Finally, the Eat Drink Man Woman script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the movie by Ang Lee.  This script is a transcript that was painstakingly transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of Eat Drink Man Woman. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and I'll be eternally tweaking it, so if you have any corrections, feel free to drop me a line. You won't hurt my feelings. Honest.

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Eat Drink Man Woman Script



Hello? Have you eaten? Not yet?



Just throw together some noodles

for lunch.



That fish is excellent.



Don't roast it. That would be a pity.



It just needs to be slightly steamed.



Don't add any salt!

Whatever you do, no salt!



Salt dries the fish, and it won't be tender.



Just get a pot of boiling water,

and put salt around the plate.



If not today,

then when will we talk about it?



Small coke, three chickens?



That'll be     yuan.



-I ordered chicken!

-That is chicken!



I can't cover for you today.

Guo-Lun is taking me to the beach.



You have to! Father'll kill me

if I'm late for Sunday dinner again.



And I thought you and Guo-Lun broke up!



We did.

I just want to torture him a bit more.



Then torture him

by keeping him waiting an hour.



-Hurry up!

-Great idea!




-How's the new boyfriend?



Hi, Jia-Chien.

Still working on a Sunday afternoon?



New boyfriend's okay, pretty quiet.

Especially after Bo-Kang.



Sounds good.



Let's get together later?

Don't work so hard!



-Thanks, but I'm seeing Raymond later.




What does that mean?



The difference between Christians

and ordinary people...


            not only do we have eternal hope...



...but we also rely on God...


            give us wisdom

to overcome our difficulties...



...and to give us joyfulness and peace

to settle our frustrations.



You okay?



Yeah. Just a little wound up.



Work, you know,

and I just closed on the new apartment.



All my savings...



...but it'll be worth it

to get out of that house.



That was wonderful.



-Better than when we were together.

-It's much easier like this.



We were a disaster as a couple.

All that shouting and fighting.



You want to come down

to my gallery now?



A new woman artist. You'd like her work.



I have to get home

for the Sunday dinner torture ritual.



Punch your time card.



-Change my Sunday schedule, please?

-I'll see what I can do.



Hi, Guo-Lun.




-I'm Chu Jia-Ning.



Rachel asked me to tell you

she'll be an hour late.



Shit! How dare she!



Don't be angry!

It's just an hour, even less now.



It's not the first time

she's made a fool of me.



-It's not serious.

-What would you know?



Have you loved someone who hates you...



...who hurts you every day?



It's my fault, really.

She forgot she was covering for me.



I didn't know I'd cause so much suffering.



You're not to blame. It's me.



I want to end this addiction to love,

but I'm too weak.



-Well, I'd better be going.




Will you tell Rachel to bring back

the red shirt she borrowed?



She can bring it to work.






What are you reading?









-Thank you.

-Promise me we'll go to choir practice?



I'll think about it.



Brother Chai is the handsomest man

in the congregation...



...and he loves your voice!



Sister Chang,

I don't wish to be liked only for my voice!



I'll never find a husband for you!



Then stop trying.



Dear God, please bring luck to our family...



...we are happy to have God in our hearts...



...and thank you so much

for this terrific dinner...



...and thank you again for bringing

our family together with happiness.



In the name of Jesus Christ, thank you.




These past two days, l....



-Something wrong?

-No, it's fine.






Say it!



The ham was over smoked.



-It's fine.

-Father probably forgot to taste it.



-Or his taste is getting worse.

-My taste is fine!




-Our school--



You first.



Jin-Feng called from America.

Her mother is coming back.



-But her green card?

-She just can't stand it anymore.



They fight and fight. Even the police came.



Mrs. Liang is really hell on wheels.



She can't live there.



The language,

no companion for mah-jongg...



...her son-in-law isn't Chinese.

It's a miracle she lasted that long.



It might be a good thing for Jin-Rong.

She can help take care of Shan-Shan.



-She might cause more stress.

-It'll be fine.



And Dad will have someone to chat with.



Like I have time to gossip

after taking care of you three?



These past two days, l....



What now?



I have a little announcement to make.



Have you seen the TV ads

for "Little Paris in the East"?



That new luxury apartment building

in Hsin-Den?



A friend, who knows the contractors,

told me how well-built it is.



He was able to get my bid in

for a good price.



You're moving out?



Not immediately, of course.

It isn't ready yet.



I used most of my savings for the deposit.



That's good.



Real estate is a smart investment today.



Then I'll move

when the apartment is ready?




-I need to speak with your dad!



Dad, it's for you.




-Hurry here, I need your help....



What? Right away!



There are crab dumplings in the steamer!



Get them out

when you're ready to eat them!



Master Chu, how are you?



Master Chu, how are you?



Hello, Master Chu.



Hello, Master Chu.



-Serve the sea cucumbers first! Hurry!

-Master Chu is here!



Thank God, you're here!



-Where's Old Wen?

-Over here! What a mess!



The boss wanted the banquet to be perfect.

Now look at this mess!



-The menu?




What's going on? Hurry up!



It's all right.

The last four courses are stews.



We'll make the Whole Shark Fin,

and problem solved.



With you here, I can relax.

You can take charge here. I'll be up front.



The guy who bought the fins

didn't know anything.



It looked genuine,

but it fell apart when we cooked it.



Fake fins don't have elasticity

when boiled in hot water.



There's no flavor,

no matter how long you cook it.



What will we do now?

It's a wedding for the General's son!



This is only good for gravy.



The Whole Shark Fin dish

will look like a porcupine.



We'll make Joy Luck Dragon Phoenix.



-Abalone? We'll lose money on this!

-Money is not important now.



We'll first settle the situation,

and I'll explain this to the boss later.



Let's get ready, everyone!

I need lobsters, abalone and jade prawns!



On the   th floor,

and the windows face south.



Central air conditioning?



Of course. There's also a guest room

for you to stay when you visit.



What's wrong?






I don't know why I'm upset.



I should be happy for her.



No, I understand.

I should be the one apologizing.



I shouldn't leave Father in your hands...



...but I just can't live here

with him any more.



Even though I'll be just a few miles away,

it's like being in another world.



-I don't blame you for being upset.

-Why should we be upset?



It's just a matter of time before you

or Jia-Jen gets married and moves out.



What's the difference?



I'm acting upset because

I worry how Father will take it.



He can barely stand

the sight of me these days.



We hardly speak to each other.

It will be a great relief for everyone.



Anyhow, Dad doesn't need us around.



What he really needs

is a companion his own age...


            Mrs. Liang.



That's not even funny.



We've tried setting him up,

and it's been a disaster.



The only true love in his life

was our mother.



-You call bickering and fighting love?

-What do you know?



Maybe it's not romance to you...



...but it was founded on real

old-fashioned respect and values.



It was an old-fashioned war

that ended only when Mom died!



How would you know?

You were a kid when she died.



I was old enough to know her better.



Stop it, you two.



Try it.



This is how it's done.



Jin-Rong is here!






You're all here. Where's Uncle Chu?



Something came up at the restaurant.

He went to help.



Jia-Chien is busy in her room.

Have you eaten?



-It's  :  ! Of course we ate.

-Today, Mom burned the fish.



I didn't bring you along to complain.



I'll give you some of Grandpa Chu's

crab dumplings to take home.



-You got a haircut.

-Yes. I run around like crazy every day.



I don't have time to care for it.

It's easier short.



-You look younger.




I wanted to look more professional.



Can we go draw now?



Can we draw Grandpa Chu today?



-Was it really that bad?

-Who knows?



They were both crying and fussing.

Mom said Jin-Feng wasn't being filial.



Jin-Feng said if Mom stayed with them,

she'd end up divorced.



If Jin-Feng got a divorce, too,

my mother really couldn't take it.



I still feel that Jin-Feng should care for her.



With your current situation,

you have a job, take care of a child...



...take care of an elder person,

and deal with your divorce?



Which just got worse. He hired

a private investigator to have me followed.






He'll do anything to take

Shan-Shan away from me.



I can't wait for the final decree.



-Why don't you tell her to come back later?

-Forget it.



You and Jin-Feng were old schoolmates.

You know her.



Mother always wanted to be with me

instead of her.



Same thing here.



Father wants to live with me.



It's not the same.



Uncle Chu is much stronger than my mom.

He takes care of himself and others.



Unlike my mother,

who needs constant attention.



My dad needs attention, too.



How many more Sunday dinners

can we have?



Jia-Ning is young,

Jia-Chien is independent...


            I'll have to take care of Dad

for the rest of my life.



I'm sure he doesn't want that.



Mom, look.

Auntie's drawing of Grandpa Chu.



It's time to go home.



Wait, I'll get the dumplings.



Please, don't.

We're always taking food home.



Don't worry,

you're like another daughter in this family.



So you really are like Dad's granddaughter.



-I want to show this to Grandpa Chu.

-Don't, Shan-Shan!



I want to show this to Grandpa Chu!



-Stop running.




I lied, I lied!



Those dumplings are fresh.

Take them home to your kids.



Do you want this to go?



Old Chu, don't get upset.



Girls eventually leave home.

It was bound to happen.



I'm not upset.



I hope they all move out,

so I can have a quiet life.



Quiet life? I know you.



What you want, you can't get.

What you don't want, you can't get rid of.



You're as repressed as a turtle.



That old maid of yours, Jia-Jen,

will stick to you for life...



...unless you marry her off!



Marry who?



Since she lost her asshole

college boyfriend...



...she's never looked at another man.



You know that.



And now she has the perfect boyfriend:



Jesus Christ.



Don't make fun of her religion!



How is it that for    years I have

put up with this kind of talk from you?



The truth is...


            should be thankful

someone's around to tell you the truth.



That Jia-Chien's temper....

She was spoiled as a child.



I can't take it anymore.



That girl just didn't come from nowhere.



Jia-Chien's a perfect blend

of you and her mother.



Her mother's stubbornness and willfulness.



And the pickiness and pomposity...



...come straight from you!



I think I know her better than you do.



I don't understand any of them,

and I don't want to know.



Let them grow up and leave.



It's like cooking.



Your appetite's gone

when the dish is done.



That's not the worst thing.

At least people like your cooking.



Honestly, I'd have to give that up

if it hadn't been for you lately.



My sense of taste

is getting worse and worse.



My food is only as good

as the expression on your face.



Don't be silly.



You rely on your feelings when you cook,

not your taste buds.



Like that Western deaf composer,

called Bee--




-That's right, Beethoven.



Good sound is not in the ear,

good taste is not in the mouth...



...and good sex...



...God knows where.



You're drunk.



Eat, drink, man, woman.

Basic human desires.



Can't avoid them.



All my life, every day,

that's all I've ever done.



It pisses me off. Is that all there is to life?



We should be thankful

that we're still alive and cooking.



By the way, when will you have

your recipes written up?



What recipes?



Didn't you say that you wanted to write

down the great recipes from your memory?



I'm just afraid that one day, you'll....



God damn you!



Are you counting the days

to take advantage of the opportunity?



Here, taste this!



Little daughter?



It's  :  .



Get up, lazy-bones.



Jia-Chien, get up!



How many times have I told you

not to fall asleep at your desk?



It's bad for your posture.



And didn't the doctor tell you that

jogging was bad for your back?




-Good morning, Grandpa Chu.



Morning! Off to school?

Why are you eating your breakfast here?



I don't have time for breakfast.



Look! Your dumplings from yesterday.



But Mom squeezed the juice out,

so I wouldn't get my hands all greasy.



Come to my house at noon,

and I'll make lunch for you.



-I have school all day.

-All day?



Then where's your lunch box?






The bus is here!



The valence electron of a typical element...


            equal to its groups.



And its valence electron in turn

is equal to its groups. Understood?



Okay, let's look at the periodic table

of the elements again.



The Group A elements:






... A...



... A....



Pay attention.



... A,  A,      ....



Okay, let's use the color red for Group  A.

Let's take a look.



-Who will return the ball?

-I'll go!



Very well, then I'll do it.



Hey, where'd it go? Give it back.






Sorry! We missed!



It's okay.



-I'll come up and get it.

-I can throw it down.



She's throwing the bouquet!



Let's continue!



What's going on? What's in your hand?



Nothing, Teacher.



-Bring it here, let me see it.

-There's nothing to see.



Bring it here!



Sit down!



Give it to me.



Writing love letters in chemistry class?



Love letters are

a kind of chemical catalyst.



-Someone wrote it to me.

-So what?



What is this doing in class?



Showing off?

Who hasn't received love letters before?



"A la fin tu es las de ce monde ancien



"BergŤre Ű tour Eiffel

le troupeau des ponts bÍle ce matin"



The American airline industry

is going through a recession.



This is a golden opportunity for us

to bid for the Sydney to Bangkok routes...



...which the British are also eyeing.



They will be our toughest competition,

and the fight will be fierce.



I'll be able to put a price

on these routes within two weeks...



...and I feel that there is

significant potential in all of them.






Thank you, Deputy Director Chu,

for that report.




this plan poses real opportunities...



...for the growth of our company.



The question is, "Do we have enough

airplanes to handle all these cities?"



Be quiet. What do you know?



That kid. My son just graduated.



He'll get it slowly.



That's right.



Our chief negotiator!



Everyone, please welcome Mr. Li Kai.



He was the one who single-handedly...



...fought to get us our Amsterdam routes.



I'm very happy to see him

as a part of our team.



My apologies for being late.

My flight was delayed.



Always kidding.



We have a big battle to wage.



I want to announce that

Li Kai is our general in charge.



We are to give him

the manpower and assistance he needs.



By following this order,

one observes the energy...



...of the chemical element rising.



-Go home, study hard. Class dismissed.




Stand straight. Bow.



Thank you, Teacher.



Over here, over here.



To the left, to the left!



-Got it!




Is it broken?



What happened?



-Coach dislocated his shoulder.




My right shoulder always goes.



-We need to rush him to the hospital.

-They're getting Coach Chai.



What for?



What's up? Out again? Come on!



Thanks, Coach! It's as good as new.



-C'mon, let's keep going.

-That's it for today.



Break it up.



Please hurry, and leave for your lunch hour.




I'm bringing Shan-Shan her lunch box.



I didn't have much time to make you

more than a few small dishes.



Spareribs, crab with vegetables...



...shrimp with green peas,

bean sprouts and sliced chicken...



...and your favorite,

spareribs and bitter melon soup.



It's not much,

because I was afraid you can't finish.



Come on, eat while it's hot.




-Are you catching a bus?



-Your shoulder? Can you ride?

-No problem.



Tomorrow, I'll spike the ball again.

Next week's the big tournament.



-I haven't seen you before.

-I'm the new volleyball coach.



-I'm Chou Ming-Dao.

-Chu Jia-Jen.



-Where do you live?

-Her-Ping East Road.



-That's a nice area.

-It's an old house.



I would have given you a ride

if it were on the way.



-The bus is convenient.

-Well, I'm off.



Come and root for the team next week.



Why are you here?



Guess. I'm here for Rachel...



...who will no doubt keep me waiting

for another hour again.



-I doubt it.

-How do you know?



She got off work an hour ago.

She said she was going home.



Try this. It tastes great.



The smell is making me sick.



You're just feeling sorry for yourself.



No, I feel wonderful. Love is torture.



I know that deep in her heart,

she truly loves me.



But she told me she doesn't love you at all.



If she doesn't love me...



...then why is she wasting her energy

torturing me?



That's not true love.

You hardly know each other.



You two hardly even talk.



Tell me,

when was your last real conversation...



...about your thoughts, feelings and life?



I can't remember. It's all a blur now.



I'll tell you what's a blur: your idea of love.



True love is being with someone

who loves you.



You can feel free to express your feelings.



Next to her,

you can feel free to talk about anything.



But I feel free to talk

about my feelings around you.



Is that true love?



Don't be silly!



Here's your Stinky Tofu.






He's still jet-lagged.

He flew in and came straight to work.



Cute, isn't he?



The best way to increase sexual prowess...


            to mix   ounces of ginseng,

  ounces of aloe vera...



...and   ounces of dried sea cucumber.



-What are you doing?

-That cat's driving me crazy.



At least someone's

having some fun around here.



Here they are.

No wonder I couldn't find them.



I'm sorry about that crack.



-I'm sure you'll find someone--

-Oh, please!



Why does everyone think

I'm looking for a boyfriend?



I already found someone, thank you.



Sis, it's been nine years.

You can't still be heartbroken--



-None of your business.

-Fine, then.



It's agreed, then.

I'll make you a lunch box every day.



But sometimes Mama makes me

a lunch box. Then what?



We'll trade. I'll eat your lunch,

and your mom won't find out.



Can you make one for Chen Pei-Hsin, too?

She's my best friend.



We had to eat hamburgers every day.



No problem.

It's a simple job, just more ingredients.



Thank you, Grandpa Chu!






-Your plant is dying.

-I always forget to water it.



-You can't take it with you, anyhow.

-Am I fired?



Let's not jump to any conclusions.



Of course, it's premature to tell you this.

I still need approval from the board.



I've recommended you to be vice-president

of our Amsterdam office...


            charge of all our operations.



Chief, l....




you're much too young for the position...



...and too beautiful.



But all the men I've sent over are idiots...


            you'll have to do.



But, Chief, l....



Everyone wants this job.

What are you waiting for?



-I just purchased an apartment.

-Rent it out.



You'll probably make a profit.



Then again, let's wait until the board

confirms your appointment.



I felt like cooking.



The kitchen is all yours.



This is Tsu-An Tofu.



Unfortunately, you don't have

a bamboo steamer, but taste it anyway.



-Where's the tofu?

-The tofu is blended in with the chicken.



It's steamed in the pot

until it looks like a beehive...



...which is then cut into pieces

and stewed with ham in an old hen broth.



You shouldn't have rewarded me like this.



I like cooking elaborate dishes.

I wish I could do it at home.



-You can't cook tofu at home?

-No, I can't cook at home.



-Doesn't your dad have a big kitchen?




But it's off-limits to me.

If I cooked there, he'd come and stop me...


            if I'd be stealing his thunder.



Carp with garlic sauce,

the first dish Uncle Wen taught me.



And this is duck-oil sautťed pea sprout.

One duck, two dishes.



Duck sautťed with garlic.

A perfect balance.



It's an ancient philosophy: food balanced

with energy, flavor and nature.



This I understand.

Like balancing yin and yang.



Take your time.

There's also a tofu dumpling coming up.



There's enough for    people.



I always cook in large servings,

because I learned in a large restaurant.



-That kitchen....




It's strange,

I don't have any childhood memories...



...unless I cook them into existence.



I can't remember a thing

from my childhood.



You wouldn't believe

how fun and warm my father used to be.



Back then, after school,

before the dinner rush...



...he'd bake me bracelets made of bread.



I used to have a ring...



...full of spices and sugar diamonds

made from dough.



He enjoyed letting me play

in the big kitchen.



Jia-Jen was so jealous.



-Here, wear this squid ring, and then eat it.

-Don't play.



How about nibbling my earring?



Stop playing.



I'm sorry I got so sentimental tonight.



No, I just had too much to eat.



The pepper smells good.



How is it?



Too spicy?



Say something!

Don't make me guess your expressions.



Old Wen!



Name, address, social security number,

family status, relatives.



If he needs special care,

please fill out this bottom section.




-You're here. It's okay now.



They ran some tests in the ER.

He feels better now.



-Was it a heart attack?

-We'll have to do more tests.



-Do you have a pen?

-I'll fill it out.



Uncle Wen.






Just like me to be practically killed

by a fart.



Blame your father's cooking.



His cooking is getting worse and worse

these days.



You had too much of it.



Come on, give Uncle Wen a hug.



-Why'd you grow up to be so pretty?

-To be courted by men.



It seems like only yesterday,

you were a little girl...



...following your father and I

around the kitchen.



Back and forth.



You were so smart.

You learned everything just once.



-What a talent. Right, Old Chu?

-Of course.



What's the use?

You still banished me from the kitchen.



It was for your own good.

You should learn something useful.



You just can't accept a woman

being a great chef.



Don't start again, you two. Jia-Chien...



...if you wanted to be a chef,

you would've been one of the greats.



But your father was right

to send you to college.



You should thank your father...



...for throwing you out

of our smelly kitchen.




you wouldn't have what you have today.



No one ever asked me if I'd appreciate this.



Don't hold a grudge against your father.



He's getting old

and just as confused as I am.



But I know that in his heart,

he's extremely proud of you.



Just look at him.



He keeps all of his feelings and emotions

bottled up inside him.




he'll have to express himself to you...



...or he'll end up in a hospital

with something...



...worse than an upset stomach.



There's    yuan in change.

Why didn't you ask for it?



We're lucky he got us here

through the traffic in the rain!



The meter was running! lf there's money

to be made, they'll make it!



Tell him to get out

and help with the luggage!



They're supposed to carry

the luggage for tips!



Just like your sister,

you throw out tips like water.



But how much does your sister make

compared to you?



Let's go.



You're all alone now.

Save as much as you can.



Who are you gonna depend on

when you get old?



I'll be depending on whomever

you're depending on!



What? No elevator?



He hasn't come by in a week.

He didn't even call me.



Maybe he's busy with exams.



Weren't you ignoring him?

Didn't you want to break up with him?



No. I was just playing hard to get.



I love him, you know.



I think I really love him.



That's strange. Is it because....



Why is he ignoring me all of a sudden?



What should I do?



You honestly think we can

pull that many out of Sydney?



Why not Bangkok? Or Osaka?



I showed you the projections yesterday.

Do you still have questions?



That's right.






I'm not used to working with someone

who's not a certifiable idiot.



Or maybe you're a little too smug?



Probably, but you know what I mean.



Maybe it's because

I sometimes get a flash...



...about how meaningless all this crap is.



Or maybe I'm just tired.



-You want some tea?

-I want liquor.



I sense a bottle of scotch in the vicinity.



-How did you know?

-Educated guess.



I figured you spend so much time in here.



Am I really that much of an old maid?



No, far from it!



You remind me of when I was a student.



The smartest were often the wildest.



We used to make liquor in chemistry lab

and hide it behind the blackboard.



So you were a chemist?



That's what I studied to be

in a prior lifetime.



-Then why this?

-Business? The airline business?



-The same way you did.

-Well, I didn't really plan this.






To your health.



Why did the two of you

turn in your homework so late?



Take a look at your work.

Practically identical.



I better not see this again.



You appeared like May sunshine

with your rose smile



Spreading love and warmth



Torturing yourself again?



Actually, I'm waiting for you.



-Do you live here?

-Nobody lives here. I just sleep here.



-Your parents?

-In China, eyeing real estate deals.



They stop by once in a while

to check up on the place.



Busy making money.



-Do they stay downstairs?




Just a tenant downstairs.

My grandma used to live there...



...but since her stroke,

my parents put her in a nursing home.



-Would you like something to drink?

-Some ice water.



Ice water.



It's very quiet here.



-Do you want to hear some music?




-Are these yours?




I didn't know you were into photography.



Not really, I only take pictures

of my grandmother. I visit her every week.



The camera seems to be

the only thing she responds to...





...with her eyes.



Probably the flash.



She can't talk?



Maybe she doesn't want

to be photographed.



I had the same thought but....



Here she comes.



I'm on the   th floor.

There is a window view overlooking Taipei.



-Why can't we go in?

-It must be dangerous.



Oh, no! It's a big fraud.



The police shut it down.



-What do you mean?

-This land is a toxic waste dump.



Can't you smell the poison?



I don't smell a thing.



Hope you weren't one of the suckers

who bought it. The company's bankrupt!



The company took the money and ran.



I told you, you should have invested in art.



Sorry. Bad joke.



Just wanted to cheer you up.



If you don't want to stay at home...



...l can help you find a place.



You all right?



Oddly, I feel light and free.



-Free enough to fly to Amsterdam!




Where is Mr. Wen in Room   ?



He checked out this morning

against his doctor's advice.



-Are you his relative?

-He's my father's associate.



Miss, which way is the elevator?



-Straight down, turn left.




This way.



Excuse me.



Paging Cardiovascular, Dr. Wang Tze-Chen,

please report to room....




-May I help you?



-What department is this?




Thank you.






Wake up, sleepyhead.






Morning, Dad.



Thanks, Dad.



Dad forgot to add the shrimp paste

in the flat mushroom.



Mrs. Liang is back.



She repeatedly tells Jin-Rong

what happened in America...



...driving her crazy.



Shan-Shan said Mrs. Liang's cooking

is worse than her mother's.



I have an announcement to make.



It's about my work.

Lately, my company is--



You don't need to tell us. We read

about your apartment in the paper.



What are you going to do?



Can't you get your money back?



Did you put all of your savings

in that apartment?



Of course...


            may continue to live here.



Your t-shirts were in my closet.



These are yours.

He should let us sort our own clothes.



He seems preoccupied lately.



Exactly. Would I wear

old-fashioned underwear like these?



Did my underwear offend you?



-You know what I mean.

-I'm afraid I don't.



-Dad, are you all right?

-I'm fine.



-Why did you ask?

-No, it's just that....



-Do I look bad?




I'm fine!



-Grandpa Chu!

-Shan-Shan, Jin-Rong, come in!



I should have come sooner

to visit and thank you in person.



Jin-Rong is too busy to bring me over.

I almost had to force her to take me.



She said that you and your whole family

really took care of them.



It's only my duty. Jia-Jen and Jin-Feng

were good classmates.



You took care of my daughter

when she was in Tainan.



Now that Jin-Rong is alone in Taipei....




-Little Aunt, can we draw?



-For Uncle Chu.

-Thanks, but--



-Jia-Jen, it's been so long.

-Mrs. Liang!



-Still teaching at the same school?




-Still not married?




Frankly, marriage is quite meaningless.



A bad marriage is such a burden.

You might as well get a divorce.



You have to be insane to marry

such a loser, like Jin-Rong's husband.



It's like a tired dog

dragging some broken cart.



And in the end, you're left all alone.



-Isn't that so, Mr. Chu?




-Ma, why do you have to say that?

-But it's true!



-Prepare some fruit, Jia-Jen.




-Your second daughter?

-The youngest.



-Hello, Mrs. Liang.

-How old are you?




-It's time to have a boyfriend.



Don't wait too long like your older sister.



-Let's sit down.

-Let me make some tea.



-Can we draw now?

-All right.



-Mrs. Liang.

-You are?




-That's right.



You're No.  .



-Aren't you pretty?

-Thank you.



-Are you used to Taipei yet?

-It's okay. Good to be home.



Do you have a boyfriend?

I'm sure you have several.



Keep your options open.



Don't listen to what men say,

but watch their actions. Understood?



Isn't that right, Mr. Chu?



-Your daughters aren't bad.

-Your daughters are fine, too.



Mine are no good.



My oldest is in the middle of

this nasty divorce.



Her husband was so sordid.

He fools around with several other women.



I can't even mention the details.



And there's my youngest

with her white husband...



...who plays electric guitar

in the garage all weekend.



He eats hamburgers with onions every day.



And when I fry rice,

the smoke alarm goes off!



I tell you,

it was like a living hell there for me.



-Mr. Chu, I'm sure you don't mind, do you?

-Of course not. Please.



Old witch.



A breeze blows in...



...fluttering through your clothes,

across your smile.



In a dreamy garret,

I am keeping my late autumn love for you.



"Late autumn love...."



"So many times,

I want to say 'l love you'



"So often,

I want to say "I'm sorry"



"You cried, 'This is fate. It's over'



"It's over"



How are you, Teacher?



"But give me just one moment



"One more look



"Don't take everything away



"Another chance



"A little tenderness



"Donít let me hurt so bad



"You can make me happy



"Make me sad



"Make me willing to give you...






Thank you. Thank you.



I'm new here,

so I'm not familiar with everyone.



So I nominate Teacher Chu for a song.



Be careful.



Teacher, what do you want to sing?



That won't be necessary.

I'll sing Love's Commandments.



"Love is forever, patient, and kind



"Love isnít jealous



"Love isn't boastful or crazy



"Love doesn't do shameful things"



A soprano! You have a great voice.



-You, too.

-I wanted to ask you a question.



Are you free this Sunday?



I'm taking the volleyball team on an outing.

Do you want to come?



-An outing?

-You should get some sun.



Join us if you've got nothing else to do.



Think about it, and let me know. Bye!



Don't crowd me! Be quiet!



-What do you want?

-Curried beef and rice.



-And you?

-Fried rice with eggs.



It's too easy for Grandpa Chu.

He won't do it. Something more difficult.



Here is Mom's lunch box

and tomorrow's menu.






You're right. The Sydney route

is worth half as much as they're asking.



To think that the Chief

was going to offer $   million.



Great. This is why

you get paid the big bucks.



-No wonder you're so tired all the time.

-You should try it.



In one morning, I've already killed

     aliens and saved the world.



-What did you accomplish this morning?

-A small headache.



How could you kill those cute aliens?



I remember now. Forget it.



-You have time to give me a hand?




I always wanted to find

something Chinese for him.



He has plenty of these already.



-He's interested in Chinese culture?

-I wish.



I can't believe that in a few years,

my son is growing up to be an American.



Sometimes I look at him

and wonder if he's actually my son.



He was raised in America,

and his mother doesn't mind.



His mother? How does she feel

about you being away all the time?



She's glad I'm not around.



I think the only reason we're not divorced...


            that we're both too busy.



That sounds so cynical, doesn't it?



I'm just as cynical

when it comes to my personal life.



-Sometimes I wish I could just....

-Pick up and fly away.



Seems like that's what

you'll be doing pretty soon.



I thought that was the answer, too.



As a result, I really messed things up

after I graduated from Chen-Kong.



-Chen-Kong University?




After graduation, my old man had a post

for me in his chemical business.




-That's right.



Remember the whiskey lab?



I actually enjoyed it as a subject.

It's the chaos in my life.



There was a lot of pressure

from my parents, my girlfriend.



I guess I didn't have the courage. So I left.



Then you went to the U.S.?



It wasn't great, but it was better

for everyone in the long run.



You okay?



-This looks Chinese.

-That's Harvey.



You have no idea how much I suffered

from those kids' shows.



Wanna hear the theme?



-"I love--"

-Please don't.



What the hell, I'll just buy this one.

He'll like it.



Uncle Chu!



Jin-Rong, what's wrong?

Is it the detective?



No. Shan-Shan is not feeling well.

She won't be going to school.



So you...?



I was wondering why her lunch box

was always so clean.



No one could ever finish

all my short ribs before!



-Hope you don't mind.

-Of course not.



But what about the lunches

I'd prepared for her?



I ate them myself, down to the last bite.



How embarrassing.

A master chef like you, eating my lunches.



I was more than happy to.



Besides, I lost my sense of taste,

so it's the feeling that counts.



All right. I should go now.



Don't tell Shan-Shan

that I know about this.



-She'd like a little secret between you two.

-Yes, I understand.






I loved him so much.



How could he do this to me?



You hardly cared for him.



I was only pretending...



...because my love for him was so strong!



I was scared of its intensity.

I feel humiliated!



I went to see him, and he....



I don't want to live anymore.



If I only knew, then I wouldn't have....



I thought you two....



Chu Jia-Ning.






You two....



Dad, do you need any help?



Call your sisters to dinner.









Can't they stop for once? It's so annoying.



We communicate by eating.

So what's wrong with singing karaoke?



I have an announcement to make.



I know it sounds incredible...



...but a lot of times

things happen this way.



Which class did you fail?



I met a boy. A man.



We're in love. We plan to live together.



His family has a huge apartment,

and his parents will like me.



So I plan on moving in with them.

But the main reason is...



...Iím having his baby.



Bye, Dad.



That Jia-Ning.



I'm still in a state of shock.



Do you think Dad's okay? Where'd he go?



He's probably chatting with Mrs. Liang.



Don't worry about him.

Take off to Amsterdam.



Just do what you have to do.



Go ahead. I really meant it.



Sis, do you ever think about what

might have been if you had stayed with...



...what's his name again?



Li Kai.



Had you left to the US

with Li Kai after graduation...



...what things might have been like?



Why are you asking?



-Your life could've been different.

-What's wrong with my life now?



Do you want to be stuck here forever?



-What if I told you I saw--

-That's enough.



This is my home, and it's fine.



"This is my home, and it's fine,"

but it isn't everything!



But it's Dad's everything!

I know him far better than you do!



Why is it that you feel

that you have to meddle in my life?



What gives you the right

to tell me what to feel?



That's right...


            heart was broken by Li Kai.



And you probably think that I'm pathetic

for never getting over it.



But at least I had a heart to break.



I don't need your pity.



And what do you know of my heart?



Nothing whatsoever...



...because you never felt that

I was worth sharing your feelings with.



You're wrong.



Ever since Mom died,

you acted more like a parent than a sister.



You shut me out.



I thought you hated me.






I broke the plate.



It's okay.



Hi, if itís Bo-Kang, stop calling me.



If itís Mom,

get Dad to drink the healthy tea.



Everyone else, please leave a message.

Okay, leave a message.



Hi, Grace. Please call me

when you hear this message.



Nothing really urgent, but...



...we haven't spoken--



-Congratulations, Vice-President!




Your promotion is official!



My family's from the Hunan Province.



After the war,

my husband and I moved to Shanghai.



There was a Tong De girls' school

in Shanghai. We lived behind that alley.



My husband also loved to cook.



He was just very unlucky.



After we came to Taiwan,

he got stomach cancer and passed away.



I also had to fight tooth and nail

to bring up my children alone.



It's not easy, Mr. Chu.



And look at them now.

Their wings grow stronger and stronger.



They do as they please.



They could care less about you.

It's so not worth it.



That's it.



I'll translate it first thing tomorrow.



And then you're off to negotiate?



Probably in a couple of weeks.



I'll be in the States for a few days,

then here, and finally to Sydney.



I requested that you take

a few days off to come with me.



I'll need you.



You'll do fine by yourself.



Frankly, with your promotion now...


           's really your decision.



You're my boss, technically speaking.



Wrong. I am your boss, period.



Yes, "boss."



What is it?



-Don't you know who I am?




-Call me Chu Jia-Chien.

-Okay, whatever you like.



Call me Chu Jia-Chien!



Have you completely erased

my older sister from your memory?



Your older sister?



That's right. My older sister.



Chu Jia-Jen is my older sister.



It's only been nine years

since your romance with her in college.



She's still living in the past

and refusing to marry another!



-You've completely forgotten her!

-Chu Jia-Jen?



Now you remember?



I don't remember this person,

but I've heard that name before.






But I really can't remember.



Are you just pretending?



If you feel embarrassed, then forget it.



There must be

some sort of misunderstanding.



I wouldn't deny it if I really knew her,

whether she was your sister or not.



-I need more information.

-The Chemistry Department at Chen-Kong.



-What else do you need?

-That's impossible.



There weren't many female students

in the Chemistry Department.



-What's she like?

-She was your girlfriend!



She gave you her first kiss!

I don't know what else to tell you!



No, she wasn't my girlfriend.



She wasn't even in my class. Now I recall.



We were in the same department,

but not the same class.



I think she hung out with Jin-Feng.



You know Jin-Feng?



She was my girlfriend!

We broke up after graduation.



She married an American guy

before I left for the States.



I saw her once in Chicago last year.



Now I know.



She often spoke of her best friend.

That must have been Chu Jia-Jen.



Are you all right?



You mean, she made it all up!



-You're lying.

-Why would I lie to you?



How did this happen?



She made the whole story up.



Please be home.



Raymond, so glad you're home.



-I just heard an absurd story.

-Raymond, who is it?



No one!



I'm in a little....



Oh, I understand.



I'll call you tomorrow.



Welcome back, Chef Wen!



Stop kissing up. Back to work, you fools!



-Chef Wen--

-Just a second!



Chef Wen?



Where have you been?



Uncle Wen passed away.



B, South,     .



Should be around here.



I don't want tea.



I want water.



Drink it, Dad. It's your favorite

mountain tea. You'll feel better.



My taste buds are gone.



I prefer water.



Why is she dressed like that?



I love you, Teacher Chu!



Can a single hand clap?



Even a ballplayer needs an opponent!



Why do I only get to talk

to thin air about love?



Who's been writing these letters to me?

If you have guts, step up!



Who's been putting disgusting letters

on my desk every day? Who?



Why hide if you had the guts

to write them?



I'm not gonna let this go!



I'll post the letters

to check the handwriting!



I'll see where you can hide!

Go ahead and hide!



What happened?



Teacher said she'd forgive us

for writing the letters.



You guys really went too far.



The outing has been changed to next week.



Will you be coming?



Here's what I'll do, I'll sign you up for now.



If you're busy, then let me know later.



I'm sorry those jerks

hurt your feelings this way.



I'm sorry about the other night.



It was just a really confusing experience.



My mind was blank. Besides you,

I didn't know where else to go.



It's all right.

I should be the one apologizing.



Why should you be sorry? It's your life.



In any case,

I've made some decisions about my future.



I want to go someplace where

no one knows me to get a fresh start.



I knew you could take care of yourself.



I also have a decision to announce

about my future.



What decision?



You know I'm not the type to settle down.



I'm still not sure about this.

Nevertheless, it's been....



Remember Sophia?



No? I'm sure I've mentioned her name

to you a few times.



Nothing serious in the beginning, until....



You're getting married?



I would have told you about it sooner,

but it was all so sudden.



She's really changed my life.



Maybe she'll also change my future.



It sounds more absurd than your story.



-I didn't know how you'd take it.




I knew you'd understand.



And I know you'll really like

and admire Sophia.



She's quite a painter, a teacher...



...and she's also managing my gallery.



And she's a great cook.



But you know, this marriage is not

going to change my current lifestyle.



She's moving into my apartment

this weekend.



Pretty much the same place,

same job and the same life.



Of course.



It's  :   already.



-I'd better be going.

-To where? I'll take you.



I'm fine.



Actually, I've got two hours to spare.



Will we be continuing

with our "friendship" status like before?



I mean,

you do know about the office in the back.



Sorry. I should go now.



Let's keep in touch.



Please think about it some more,

Master Chu.



The restaurant really needs your presence.



With so many good young chefs,

you can easily find someone.



But none with the expertise

in the art of Chinese cuisine like you.



Just your presence there would be

a living, treasured cookbook.



Do I just stand in the kitchen

until I rest in peace, like Old Wen?



It's been said,

"People die for money. Birds die for food."



To die for money is a man's business...



...but to die for food?

That's for the birds. Is it worth it?



There's truth to the saying. But your life

has been devoted to the art of cooking.



What a pity to just let it go.



People today are so insensitive.



They can't appreciate

the art of exquisite dining.



Chinese cuisine has traveled

to Taiwan for    years.



And just like the rivers

that eventually flow into the sea...


           's all the same in the end.



Even a mess of slop can pass for

"Joy Luck Dragon Phoenix."



What more can I say?



What is "pity"?



Only when a heart feels dissatisfied

can it feel pity.



Fortunately, I don't plan on wasting

my whole life on this stuff.



Miss Chu.



Please help me to convince your father

not to retire.



Dad, you plan on retiring?



It's his own business.

He can make his own decision.



Master Chu, are you thinking of

opening your own restaurant?



Be sure to let me know. I'll follow you.



I see that Mr. Chu worries a lot

about his daughters.



-Isn't that parenting?

-It's harder for a single man.



It's been so many years.



When did Mrs. Chu die?



When Jia-Ning was   years old,

about    years ago.



A widower usually has a short life.



Why didn't he remarry?



Maybe because of the children.



He needs to wise up.

He's raising his daughters for others.



Only the ones nobody wants

end up with you.



If you were so wise, you wouldn't be

haranguing over my divorce.



And you shouldn't blame Jin-Feng either.



What do you think of Mr. Chu?



What about him?



He seems like a nice person

and a great cook.



He doesn't talk much...



...but we really connect.



I have a little announcement to make.



You know, just like Jia-Ning, l....



-You're pregnant?

-Nonsense! Of course not!






It's just that....



We just couldn't wait....



He wants to....



But I'm a Christian....



We asked the priest to marry us

this morning.



Hold on! He's waiting outside right now.

One second!



Come in! Come in.



Dad, Jia-Chien,

this is my husband, Chou Ming-Dao.









-You scared me.

-You're gonna be late.



-What are you doing?

-Packing Jia-Jen's things.



-Let me help you.

-I'm okay.



I loved this room when I was a child.



When your mom wanted

some peace and quiet...



...she also liked being in this room.



Mrs. Liang says this room

is airy and has plenty of light...



...and it would be the perfect place

for an exercise bike.



Mrs. Liang?



I went to Jin-Rong's place last night

and told them Jia-Jen's news.



I'm running late.

I'll be back early from work.



Don't move any more stuff until I get back.



Let me tell you...


            are creditors collecting

for the sins of our past lives.



They know no compassion.

It's better off not having any.



"Life is a boundless sea.

Only returning to shore is happiness."



Marriage is a source of sin.



A series of worries, disappointments,

misery, conflict and ingratitude.



I tell you, every family has a book

of unspeakable problems.



I have a cause for celebration!



Jin-Rong's divorce decree came through.

I should have it framed.



I want her to remember

her mother's words forever.



I warned her not to marry that bastard!



I'll have this divorce decree framed

and hung on the bathroom wall.



You shouldn't worry so much.



Whatever will be, will be.



Instead of thinking about those creditors,

why not think more about yourself?



Be careful. Watch your step.



Dad's really willing to give the vase to me?



Not really.

But if you don't take it, Mrs. Liang will.



-What do you mean?

-She's been here almost every night.



You're kidding.



I decided not to go to Amsterdam.



-Are you okay? Be careful.

-No problem.



He's not Christian.

Why did you agree to marry him?



He will be.



-Welcome. Table for one?

-I'm meeting someone.



Sure, help yourself.



Thanks for coming.

I thought you might not show up.



Why not?



The other night....



-What kind of tea would you like?

-What are you having?



-Mountain tea.

-Same for me.



Thank you.



You know,

I understand what you're going through...



-...although I can't really explain it.

-Neither can l.



It's complicated, but I can understand that.






I heard that you turned down

your promotion. Everyone's shocked.



I hope I wasn't a factor.



Not at all.



Well, maybe only a tiny bit.



I don't know. It's a whole series of things.

A family wedding...



...actually, two marriages,

and someone passed away.



And a really bad investment.



All of a sudden, everything's gone.

Plus my father's health.



So I've decided

to stay with him for a while.



I think he needs me.



The chief asked me

to try to change your mind.



But what the hell? It's just a job.



I'm glad, you know?






That we didn't make love.

Not that I still wouldn't want to.



But seeing you like this makes me happy.



I'm happy, too.



I think that we can be really good friends.






Then, good friends?



Good friends.



When you were a baby, I'd spin this

for hours. You wouldn't let me stop.



Well, please stop now.

I'm getting nauseous again.



And I should go.



I told Dad I'd help shop

for Sunday's dinner.



Why did Dad send formal invitations?

Is it for Guo-Lun and Ming-Dao?



He said he has his own

"little announcement" to make.



-Mrs. Liang?




I think, unlike you and Guo-Lun,

they won't rush their engagement.



So hopefully,

he'll have enough time to think it over...



...and realize what a nightmare she is.



But I don't think he will fully recover

from the shock of recent events.



Had I known he'd go crazy,

I wouldn't have....



Don't blame yourself.



He's not going crazy. He's an old horse.



Horses don't get married.



What do you think?



Don't just run around!

One of you chase it, and the other grab it!



Over here, Ming-Dao!



Got it!



-Jin-Rong, Mrs. Liang.

-Grandpa Chu!



A tie for your father

and a bottle of good wine.



-Also for your father.

-You shouldn't have.



I should've been here earlier to help.






-I hope we're not intruding.

-No, not at all.



In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.



Come, a toast.






Please help yourselves.



Everyone, please help yourself.



-Are you moving abroad?

-Not anymore.



Mom, what's this?



Do you want some shrimp?



It's a simple meal. Please help yourselves.



Mr. Chu, you've prepared too much.



Help yourselves.



Winter melon soup.



Today's Red Seven Star Fish was too big.

They're best at   pounds.



Listen to yourself.



So picky already. You'll never find

a husband when you grow up.



You girls are lucky.



Your father's a great cook.

Look at this wonderful cuisine.



Looks, smells and tastes good.

It's all here.





            two, bottoms up.



Jia-Ning, you two, bottoms up.



-Don't drink too much.

-I'm fine.






...bottoms up!



Fate has brought us to this table tonight.



That's right.



Although we're not actually related...



...we're still considered family.



And since we're one big family...



...there's really nothing

we can't say to each other.



I've kept this inside me for a long time.



It wasn't as if I was trying to hide

any secrets from you.



I just feel that I shouldn't allow

my personal affairs...


            be the family's worry

and, thus, become a burden.



As a family, living under the same roof...



...we can still live separate lives.



This worry that we have for each other

is what makes us a family.



I've done nothing wrong by not telling.



By telling, I can end this lingering.



I cannot live my life

like my methods of cooking.



I can't wait until all the ingredients

are prepared and then cook.



Of course, after the first bite,

whether it's sour, sweet or spicy...


           's totally up to the individual.



That's it for now. I'll continue after dinner.



-Dad, what are you trying to say?

-We already knew.



-You do?

-Let Dad tell us.



Go ahead and say it.

The dishes are getting cold.



So be it!



Since the situation has come this far,

I'll say it.



To me,

this house contains several old memories.



But now, it's so empty,

and almost everyone has left.



I've decided to sell it.



I found a really nice place on Kum Dao.



It's a bit old

and may require some remodeling.



But it's a great place.



It should be ready in a few months.



Great. It's always nice

to move to a new place.



New people, new house, new life.






I'll make a toast to you...



...Auntie Liang.



I haven't taken care of Jin-Rong...



...but I can swear to Heaven...


            long as l, Old Chu,

have one last breath...



...Iíll see that they both

shall never go cold or hungry...



...and that you're always welcome

in our new home.



Take a look.



This is a medical report I had done

at the Veteran's Hospital last month.



Please, Auntie, we ask for your approval.



I'll first drink a toast.






Dad, you should stop drinking.



-You're getting drunk.

-I'm not drunk.






Uncle Chu and I have been planning

for a long time.



But because of this terrible divorce,

our love was a secret until now.



Although love should be

between two people...



...Uncle Chu loves all of you.



And he loves Shan-Shan also.



So he really wishes

for your approval and understanding.



As for me...



...l only hope to be with him at his side.



I'm willing to be with him.



That's enough! Don't say anymore.



-Is there a mistake?

-Dad, are you crazy?



I'm not crazy.

I know exactly what I'm doing.






-Loosen her collar!

-Don't touch me!



Keep your dirty hands off of me!

Damn you, Old Chu!



-Help carry her to the sofa!

-Be careful!



-Be careful!

-Damn you! Don't touch me!



Take me home, Jin-Rong!



Let me tell you, don't even think about it

for as long as I still have my last breath.



-Let's go, Shan-Shan.

-Mom, calm down.



-Let's take her home.

-Okay, okay.



What kind of world is this?



I want to die!



-What kind of family is this?

-Be careful!



I'll take Shan-Shan.



God won't let you get away with this!



I want to go back to America!






Guo-Lun, how are you?






But we've been up all night.

I don't have the heart to wake them.



Don't wake them. Get some sleep.



I'll be back again in a few months.

I'll come visit then.



Bye, then. Tell us all about Amsterdam

when you come back.



And thanks for your help

these past months.



Take care of your wife and kid.



Of course.



Say hello to Jia-Jen and Ming-Dao for us.



They can't make it either.

They've got a big day today themselves.






Do you believe that Jesus Christ

has forgiven your sins...



-...and made you a new person?




Do you believe in following Jesus Christ

unto eternity and never regret?






Believe in your heart.

Say "yes" from your mouth:



In the name of the Father,

Son and Holy Spirit...



...l baptize you. Amen.



How are you feeling?



Fine. Just a small headache.



-You should get going.

-All right.



I'll pick up Shan-Shan on my return.

Get some rest at home.






I love you.







-Hi. Please come in.



You'll be the only one here tonight.



Everyone else called to apologize,

because they had plans.



-Where's Shan-Shan and Jin-Rong?

-Jin-Rong's not feeling well today.



Shan-Shan is with her grandma.



No need to take off your shoes.

Just come in.



-Did they tell you the ultrasound results?

-I don't want to know.



Another daughter?



Have a seat. Dinner's almost ready.



-What's wrong?

-Nothing. It's delicious.




-But what?



You put too much ginger in the soup.

Its effect is ruined.



Too much ginger?



This is the same as Mother's recipe.



I remember you

bickering about this back then.



You're too timid with ginger.



-It's just a comment.

-Don't boss me around the kitchen.



I wasn't. It was a minor critique.



The taste....






What about the taste?






-...your soup....

-What about my soup?



Your soup, Jia-Chien...



...l can taste it.



You can taste?



I can taste it.



Some more...













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