Dishing out Family Drama: India Sweets and Spices & Eat with Me

10 May

The family table can be both a source of connection and a source of drama; here are two picks that prove that point; which are representative as we recognize Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Click on the links to learn more about AAPI Heritage Month and the Hoboken Library’s events celebrating it.

India Sweets and Spices
India Sweets and Spices is about Alia, played charmingly by Sophia Ali, an UCLA student, who returns home from school to her Indian family in a wealthy NJ community and finds herself at odds with her parents and her Aunties’ visions of her future. The movie is broken up in to chapters following different lavish parties being held in her family’s social circle. As she finds romance with a local shop keeper’s son (their store provides the title of the movie), she discovers some buried family secrets from the past and present. I found the movie both touching and funny. I also could relate to both Alia who is wanting to break free from the small town of her childhood, but also Alia’s mother, played with complexity by Manisha Koirala, who is looking back at her own dreams that she deferred to make a better life for her children. Those hungering for more Indian family drama may want to check out 1999’s Chutney Popcorn about a woman whose girlfriend breaks up with her after she agrees to be a surrogate for her sister’s child.

Eat with Me
Eat with Me is a comedy-drama from 2014 about a gay chef, Eliot, and his mother who become closer leading up to the possible foreclosure of the Chinese restaurant inherited from another family member. Elliot, played by Teddy Chen Culver, is just beginning a new relationship, while his mother, played by Sharon Omi, has just separated from Eliot’s father and come to live with him. This is a charming story of acceptance and building bridges through food. Always a favorite of mine, George Takai has a small role in the film and Nicole Sullivan provides a lot of laughs as Eliot’s quirky neighbor who befriends his serious mom. If you enjoy this film you may also want to check out The Wedding Banquet another touching film centered around a gay son and his Chinese family. Stay tuned for our May 31 picks for two romance novels perfect for Pride Month.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Information and Digital Services Manager

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