Through a series of flashbacks, four young chinese women born in America and their respective mothers born in feudal China, explore their past. This search will help them understand their difficult mother/daughter relationship. Written by
In the novel, it is revealed that the real name of the character played by Ming-Na Wen is Jing-Mei. On ER (1994), Ming-Na plays another character named Jing-Mei. See more »
June's hair moves from in front of her shoulder to behind it several times just before Suyuan gives her the necklace. See more »
Even at that age, I knew I had an amazing gift: this power, this belief in myself, to be better than anyone else. If someone was bigger than me, older than me, it didn't matter. And if they were mean, I could make 'em sorry.
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I have read the book and seen the movie. I have also read reactions to both. Some really liked it and found it to be very real, while others hate it and object to the "stereotype." It seems to depend on whether you could relate to the stories, characters, or themes.
I myself could relate very well to the stories, but that could be because I too have experienced the intergenerational and intercultural conflict as an American-born Chinese daughter with a very traditional Chinese mother. Many other American-born Chinese women who were born in the 1960s could relate to the stories very well also. For us, we would start crying as soon as the first sentence is made.
I didn't experience everything that June, Rose, Lena, or Waverly went through, but on a grander scale, they are dealing with issues that I have struggled with as well.
I understand that there are other women who could relate to it as well, and these are not Chinese women--or even Asian women. Perhaps Amy Tan has touched on universal themes that women of other nationalities could relate to.
On the other hand, I have found that some people who are ten years younger than me didn't like the book/movie too much and found the characters "stereotypical" or "unrealistic."
Some Caucasian males didn't like this book/movie either, and again it comes back to them not being able to relate to it.
I understand another user's comment about the negative portrayal of Asian men, but this person has forgotten about June's father who was portrayed as a very likeable man who was trying to bridge the gap between his wife and his daughter. As for his objection of the daughters marrying Caucasian wives, he needs to realize that there are other issues/reasons involved and it's not because Chinese-American women like them "hate Chinese men."
In short, this movie is very good at portraying the intergenerational and/or intercultural conflict between people who are caught between two cultures. Women like me have cried while watching this movie because the issues have been very real for us. For those who could not relate to it or cannot see the "reality" of it, then this movie would not be for them.
37 of 40 people found this review helpful.
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