Do Eugenie and Dodin End Up Together in The Taste of Things?

Love takes the form of food in Trần Anh Hùng’s ‘The Taste of Things,’ as two cooks, Eugenie and Dodin, fall in love with each other and express their love through gourmet dishes. It is a heartwarming tale in which we see Eugenie and Dodin as more than just lovers. They are also each other’s best friends, and they respect one another for their talent in making good food and their appreciation of it. Because the entire film revolves around their relationship, one can’t help but wonder how it ends for them, especially with Eugenie’s continued refusal to marry Dodin. What does it spell for their relationship? SPOILERS AHEAD

Eugenie and Dodin’s Romance Comes to a Tragic End

One of the great things about ‘The Taste of Things’ is how it doesn’t start at the beginning. By the time we meet our characters, they have already known and loved each other for decades. Eugenie and Dodin’s story started long before the audience was made privy to them. They spent a better part of their lives together, even though they didn’t get married. So, in a sense, we could say that they ended up together, though Eugenie’s untimely death does keep them from going into their dusk years hand in hand, which is what the duo wanted in the first place.

In a traditional sense, marriage is considered the endgame of a relationship. In several romance films, we see a couple headed toward that goal, and it is whether or not they reach it that defines the success of their relationship. In the case of Eugenie and Dodin, however, things haven’t been that way. While Dodin proposed marriage to Eugenie over the years, she always declined it, but that didn’t have any impact on their love and respect for each other, mainly because Dodin understood why Eugenie was refusing the idea of marriage.

Both Eugenie and Dodin were dedicated to their love for food. For them, it was more than just a profession; it was an art through which they could express their feelings. They would cook for each other, and each meal would be crafted in a way that expressed their knowledge of the other person while also displaying their love and understanding. One of the scenes in the film shows Dodin completely engrossed in making a dessert for Eugenie, and it is his focus on the act that shows the audience how much he loves her.

There is no dearth of love towards Dodin for Eugenie, but she refuses to marry him because she sees herself, first, as a cook. While she loves him with all her heart, she doesn’t want to be defined by the label of simply being his wife. Moreover, she doesn’t want the equation to be altered between them because of the wedding. The final scene of the film does a great job of portraying her feelings through a simple dialogue between the two. She asks Dodin how he sees her: does he see her as a lover and a wife, or does he see her as a cook? He says the latter, and the smile on Eugenie’s face reveals that this is the answer she wants to hear.

While the couple may have been together for as long as they did, Eugenie was more dedicated to her love for food and the expression of her art. She felt that marriage might disrupt the delicate balance that she and Dodin had found over the years, which is why she refused to marry him. It is also possible that she wanted their relationship to first evolve to the point where the distinction of being a wife wouldn’t change anything between her and Dodin. She had no intention of leaving him, which is why she was in no rush to get to the altar. Every time Dodin asked her to marry him, she would see that he wasn’t yet ready for it, and she would refuse him.

Eventually, when she does agree to marry him, so much time has passed between them, and they have been through so much that they have already turned into an old married couple. At this point, a wedding would just be another event in their life, not something that would change their lives or threaten to imbalance something between them. So, after a delicious several-course meal, when he asks her again, she accepts, and they decide to get married at a later date.

Another thing that may have kept Eugenie from getting married to Dodin was knowing that she was going to die. She has a couple of fainting spells, which worries Dodin, and he even has a doctor see her. However, whatever was troubling her doesn’t come to light. Her situation goes undiagnosed, and in the end, she dies in her sleep, marking the end of her love story with Dodin. With all this in mind, there are two answers to their story. If you are looking at the traditional sense of the term and consider marriage to be the thing that decides whether two people have ended up together, then no, Eugenie and Dodin did not. However, in the real sense of the term, they were an inseparable part of each other and ended up spending the best part of their lives with each other.

Read More: The Taste of Things: Is the French Film Based on a True Story?