Responding to Film:  Eat Drink Man Woman

Your first writing assignment this term is to write an analysis of the film Eat Drink Man Woman.  You should pay particular attention to the film's plot as you are to explain who you would consider the protagonist/antagonist, what the protagonist's conflict is, argue how you feel this conflict if overcome/resolved (climax), explain how this leads to an overall theme, and explain what role the idea of food plays in each of these. 


For an overview of literary elements, click here.

Annotate as you watch the film.  Make specific notes of scenes, dialogue, etc. that that provide clues concerning characterization (protagonist/antagonist/conflict/climax) and how each of these leads to a theme (a central idea that is conveyed by the film).  Don't forget to note what role food plays in each one of these.  Be as detailed as possible.

When doing film evaluations, I typically ask my students to take the following approach:

  • Identify what you see as the major premise or idea in the film (theme) and then discuss the primary ways in which this is illustrated through the plot and the role that food plays in this. For this, you want to cite specific details, examples and illustrations from the film.  Use very vivid, visual details for the reader.  NOTE:  SIMPLY DON'T RETELL THE STORY. THE AUDIENCE FOR YOUR PAPER HAS ALREADY SEEN THE FILM.  THEY KNOW WHAT HAPPENS.
  • After you have presented examples and illustrations from the film to support your idea, then explain how your examples illustrate the assertion that you are making.
  • Discuss the role that food plays in with the protagonist/antagonist/conflict/cliax;  support your ideas with examples and llustrations from the film.
  • Lastly, state what you see as the importance or relevance of the film. What do we learn, or fail to learn, from watching it and how is this primary relevance communicated through the plot by the protagonist's journey?


The purpose of this paper is to evaluate a film by dissecting its plot in regard to the role of food and a subsequent theme. 

This essay is 100% your opinion.  Essentially, you are arguing how you feel this fim's plot  interacts with the idea of food and results in a subsequent theme.

Your opinion, however, must be supported with evidence from your "text" (the film itself); you should include description of scences and dialogue to prove your point.

Your claim (thesis) will apprear in your intro as one sentence that explains what you see as the role that food plays in the construction and development of plot and how each of these interrwine to ultimately form an overall message/theme that is communicated by the film.


How will audience affect the content of your paper? Who am I writing for?

Imagine you are writing this essay for an newspaper and or film/magazine whose audience is highly educated and are film conisseurs..

How will audience affect diction (word choice)?

Since your audience is newspaper and or film/magazine whose audience is highly educated and are film conisseurs., how will this affect the type of language that you will use?

Since you are essentially writing a review for a highly education audience of film conisseurs,  you diction will take on a formal tone..  You may not use first person, contractions, etc.  You should also  maintain a high level of professionalism.  In other words, avoid the use of slang and explicit language.  In addition, you should not use personal pronouns such as you, yours, we, us, me, my, or mine.

Important ideas to keep in mind when writing this paper:

  • Don't simply summarize the film.  Your audience has seen the film;   you don't need to recount the plot to them. They are looking for    analysis, not summary.   Your analysis will be your explanation of
         how this film does or does not illustrate the various characteristics of   
         the "hero's journey"
  • Don't simply transcribe your annotation and call it a paper.
  • Avoid the "I."It's too easy to slip into a subjective "reviewer's" stance when you use the "I" in your criticism. Try to find a more objective way of beginning your sentences than "I found" or "I feel." Your tone should be formal.  Remember that  you cannot use first person

Format:  Your essay should have a title.  It should also be typed, double-spaced, Times New Roman & 12 pt. font, with one inch margins all around.  Your essay should be a minimum of three pages and no more than four .

This assignment will be graded as follows:

Total Possible Points:  40/

Final Draft, evaluated on the following criteria:

Focus (11 points): Does essay have a clear purpose? Is there an identifiable claim?  Are reader’s expectations set and then met?  Ideas, examples, and reasons developed in the body of the paper are clearly related to the main focus?

Development (11 points):  Does the writer accurately describe how the film illustrates the twelve stages of the hero's journey? Are supporting examples, showing details, and data rich and relevant to the main idea? The writer shows how or why evidence is relevant to main idea or claim? Is there an accurate & detailed description of scenes and plot?

Organization (11 points):   Do ideas and paragraphs proceed in logical and apparent sequence or pattern? Does writer use sufficient audience cues to let the reader know what has been discussed, what is being discussed, or what will be discussed?  Does writer use attention-getting title and lead-in, essay map, summary and forecasting statements, paragraph hooks, transitional words and phrases?  Do effective conclusions guide the reader from beginning to end?

Style (4 points):  Is language clear direct and readable? Are sentences clear, concise, and easily read by intended audience? Is word choice appropriate for audience? Do sentences reveal and sustain appropriate voice and tone?

Mechanics/Other Requirements (3 points):  Are there obvious errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar? Are there patterns of error? 


Grading scale:
A  36-40
B  32-35
C  28-31
D 24-27
F    0-23