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Deserving of the top 10 Chinese language films of 2005 win!
I had heard of this film but didn't get to see it until it'd been selected as one of the top 10 Chinese language films of 2005 by the Chinese Film Critics Association. It certainly deserved this prestigious honour because this dramatic comedy has a solid story, good performances, beautiful scenery and amazing music.
The story is about a single mother, Jen (veteran Taiwanese actress Sylvia Chang), and her three not-so-model sons. One by one the sons fail her expectations in various ways, mostly by becoming gay. In desperation she, with the help of a friend, Kim Chui (Martin Yan in a surprisingly natural and understated performance), come up with a plan to make sure her youngest son Leo stays straight and remains her "pride and joy."
This film deals with several phenomena in the modern Chinese society: homosexuality, which could be a metaphor for any "undesirable" quality the kids take on against their parents' wish; a middle-aged woman fighting social pressures; and the change in the parent-child relationship as the younger generation of Chinese moves away from the traditional "obey your elderly" doctrine. The best part is all these important issues are revealed in a very entertaining comedy of manners!
Sylvia Chang is wonderful as the "suffering" mother. The character of Jen is like many mothers, particularly Chinese mothers - strong and resilient. Her love for her sons is expressed through feeding and providing for them, and choosing for them what's best for them. The best moment in the film for me is when Jen realizes all her boys have grown up and have a mind of their own. It is now up to her to change her ways and discover that the best way to love them is to love them just the way they are.
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