It’s not everyday you get offered the opportunity to review a film with an’ LGBT’ theme at a time when a cornerstone has been made in history… But today seems to be my lucky day.
Ironically, the link to ‘Eat With Me’ was passed to me on the lead-up to an Irish referendum, one which offered a nation the power to decide whether a same sex couple should hold the same legal matrimonial rights as their heterosexual counterparts. So, at the risk of sounding cliched, it did seem like fate that this film was passed to me at such a monumental time, especially as we now know the outcome of these proceedings.
Although this film is not about matrimonial rights, it is focused on something which proves core to such a union, relationships. ‘Eat With Me’, is a film that focuses on the bonds between mother and son, husband and wife and also the fragility of a more fledgling relationship.
As apposed to having the central gay character as the focal point of this romantic comedy, David Au throws a slight curve-ball at his audience and instead invites us to take a journey of discovery with this character’s mother.
Emma is a woman who seems to struggle in her relationship with her husband, her understanding and acceptance of her gay son and also an understanding of her own self and subsequent needs.
The story begins with Emma’s decision to live with her son (Elliot), in the wake of an incident involving her husband and his wedding ring. Whilst Elliot struggles to deal with this infringement on his space, a new encounter and a restaurant that is at risk of foreclosure, his mother struggles to understand her son’s life decisions as a whole.
Whilst all seems lost and these two seem set to collide, it is a love of food and a will to love that sees these characters through to their conclusion.
Although ‘Eat With Me’ is primarily a gay film, it refuses to pose this as an issue and instead focuses on its characters, their flaws and how they interact with each other. Much like ‘Alice Wu’s’ ‘Saving Face’, it has a sense of natural, endearing comedy and allows the viewer to invest in both the plot and its characters.
Although all characters are instrumental in making this film a success, ‘Sharon Omi’, who portrays the lead of Emma is arguably the stand-out. I would also argue that the screen time involving the interactions between Emma and Maureen (Nicole Sullivan) steal the show, especially one incident involving a case of mistaken ‘aspirin’. Needless to say, a mention must also be made for the sensational ‘George Takei’ who lends a personal and raw truth to this already personable film.
In all, this film is an unquestionable success. David Au has done well to rely on his cast to portray the core messages of this film, rather than any unnecessary tricks of the trade. To sum up, ‘Eat With Me’ is a film for anyone that shares a love of food, a will to endure and also the capacity to love.
EAT WITH ME debuts across all digital platforms including iTunes, Vimeo On Demand, and WolfeOnDemand.com beginning May 5, and will debut on DVD on June 2 via Wolfe Video and many major retailers.
BONUS MATERIALS: Exclusive bonus features including behind the scenes featurette will be available on DVD and digitally via WolfeOnDemand.com.
Eat With Me is written, produced, directed and edited by David Au
Starring Sharon Omi, Teddy Chen Culver, Aidan Bristow, Nicole Sullivan and a special appearance by George Takei.
EAT WITH ME had its World Premiere at the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival and has since played at dozens of top LGBT film festivals in the US, including the Frameline Film Festival in San Francisco, Boston LGBT Film Festival (Opening Night Film), Houston Film Festival (Closing Night Film), Chicago Reeling Film Festival and Out In Film Atlanta Festival. EAT WITH ME has also picked up several prestigious festival awards, includingBest Comedy Film and Best Actress at the 2014 Out In Film Atlanta, and Best Feature at the 2014 Florence Queer Film Festival.
WolfeOnDemand.com is the global LGBT digital movie platform from LGBT specialty distributor Wolfe Video. The service showcases more than one hundred titles – features and documentaries – including popular favorites and hits like I Am Divine, The Circle, Getting Go, Undertow and many more. Most titles are available in HD and are priced at US $3.99 for streaming rentals and US $14.99 for digital download to own. Most of the films are available worldwide and are all also available on DVD directly from WolfeVideo.com for US viewers.