Rice Rhapsody (Singgapore+HongKong)

The film is set in Singapore’s Chinatown. It is narrated by Jen Fan, owner of a successful restaurant. Her signature dish is “Chicken Rice”-in fact she is rather well known for it. Jen has three sons. Daniel and Harry are gay, and Jen is determined the youngest, Leo, does not go the same way. She enlists the help of her friend Kim-Chui, who owns a nearby restaurant. He is less successful than Jen, but is in love with her. Leo has become her life, she is pinning all her hopes of grandchildren on him. She and Kim-Chui hatch a plan that involves bringing Sabine, a female French exchange student, to stay at Jen’s house.

When Sabine arrives, Leo predictably shows little interest in her. It is painfully clear to all except Jen that Leo is in love with his best friend “Batman”. Sabine is very laid- back and mystical in her outlook, and the family warm to her. It is she who ultimately helps Jen come to terms with her life.

When “Batman” suddenly announces that he is leaving Singapore, Jen finally realises the truth from Leo’s grief-stricken face, and strikes him in fury. As he leaves the house, she falls down the stairs chasing him, injuring her ankle.

Some time later Jen, persuaded by Sabine, attends Harry’s birthday party. There she meets many of Harry’s gay friends, and she finds them delightful and fun. Another obstacle she must overcome is news of Daniel’s impending gay marriage, she is horrified and cannot accept it. The film ends with Jen finally realising how wonderful her sons truly are. She may also consider a future with the ever-loyal Kim-Chui but this is left open.

 

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