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Journey from the Heart (1999)

My American Vacation (original title)
Grandma Lee tours the California wilderness in a motor home with her Americanized family, teaches them Tai Chi and the ancient Chinese way to deal with modern American life.





Credited cast:
Frederick Bailey ...
Ray - R.V. salesman
Grandma Lee
Dennis Dun ...
Sasha Hsuczyk ...
Ming Yee
Deborah Nishimura ...
Ming Na
Friend of Grandma


When a (grand) mother visits her two daughters in America, she finds out that they do not get along very well. During their voyage through America in a small camper, the tensions and irritations between the daughters arise. When the mother almost has an accident, they decide to make peace. Written by Edwin Ros <edwin.ros@nl.pwcglobal.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama





Release Date:

17 March 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Journey from the Heart  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$1,500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Beulah Quo's last feature film role. See more »

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User Reviews

A heartwarming family film that captures the essence of a Family Vacation in cramp quarters!
26 November 2002 | by See all my reviews

I totally enjoyed this vacation captured by filmmaker VV Hsu. A film about three generations of women with mother played by Tsai Chin (whom I loved in the Joy Luck Club)coming from China to take a real "American Vacation" with two sibling sisters and a 7-year old granddaughter as well as one lonely 'husband' in the cramped quarters of an RV - you can only imagine some of the conflicts that arise.

The complex and interesting relationship between these three generations of women as well as the side-show relationship of the two sisters cuts across all ethnic lines and this could be any family on a vacation - we can all relate to these relationships. And these women really kick up a storm in this movie.

I especially enjoyed some of the quiet moments of the trips as each would go off by themselves to capture private moments. At the end of this film I truly felt as if I too had been on a vacation.

And the post cards and letters that Tsai Chin's character wrote to her friends back in China about the successes of her family (in direct contrast to what was actually happening) was hilarious. It was especially wonderful to see one of her friends in China played by talented actress Beulah Quo - she radiates her charm in this cameo role and brings the friends alive in their letters from their friend from America.

There are so few films that address matters of the heart and things that matter. This one moved me to those deep soft places in your heart that you keep hidden to the world. When you see this film it takes us to our own families with our lost dreams, jealousies and hidden desires and helps us to seek our own hidden treasures - you suddenly feel your heart wild and alive again.

When you feel you really need time out - need a vacation, watch My American Vacation the scenes are beautiful and Hsu captures the mood of vacationing and seeing the countryside in an RV - you will feel you have been on a majestic and beautiful trip on the inside as well as on the outside!

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