29 April 2004 | george.schmidt
WHAT'S COOKING? (2000) ***1/2 Mercedes Ruehl, Joan Chen, Alfre Woodard, Kyra Sedgwick, Julianna Marguilies, Dennis Haysbert, Maury Chaykin, Lainie Kazan, Victor Rivers, Douglas Spain, A Martinez, Francois Chau, Will Yun Lee, Estelle Harris, Ralph Manza. Wonderful sleeper depicting four Los Angeles melting pot families all celebrating Thanksgiving, cross cutting between homes sharing the universal theme of family, love and ultimately acceptance of one another. Funny, emotional, intelligent and superbly acted with an equally impressive script by Gurinder Chadha (who directed) and Paul Mayeda Berges her real-life companion. Stand out performances especially by Ruehl, Chen & Woodard as strong-willed matriarchs and Sedgwick and Marguilies as one of the sexiest onscreen lesbian couples in some time. Kudos to the off-screen cooks who whip up some truly mouth-watering displays in uniquely different yet delicious dinners for the quartet broods.