Shanghai Kiss (2007) Poster


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Powerful film!
froeper31 August 2007
This movie wasn't what I was expecting at all when I sat down to watch it. It looks like they're marketing this as a light romantic comedy, which it is in a way: it's very very funny and romantic. But behind the comedy, there's layers of sadness that reminded me of Woody Allen at his best. Ken Leung's Liam might be the most complex character since Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver. Here's a guy who can't really emotionally connect to anything - his family, his Chinese heritage, women, maybe the world. All he really has is his friendship with a free-spirited girl named Adelaide (Hayden P) who tries hard to get him to emotionally open up. Except she's only 16 and he can't be with her anyway. His father (Lo Pan), who he blames for his mother's death, calls him one day and tells him that his grandmother left him a house in Shanghai. So he decides to go their to sell it and make some bank.

That's the basic set up, which is conventional enough, but what is intriguing is every decision Liam makes throughout the rest of the movie. He's impulsive, impetuous, and relies solely on Al Pacino/Scarface type gut instincts. Even though he intellectualizes throughout the film, it's as if he doesn't trust himself nor his conclusions.

For example, there's a scene towards the beginning where he's drinking with a buddy of his. His buddy points out a cute girl at the bar, and Liam completely blasts her, calling her fake. Then at last call, when he's lost his buzz and the emptiness and loneliness of life has crept in, he starts to talk to this girl, whom he takes home. Later, she's lying next to him, making small talk and a tear runs down his face. It seemed shocking to me at first, but after a moment I knew exactly why he has crying. The scene was handled very delicately and very few actors could've pulled it off. This is such an interesting character that you can watch him eat a meal for an hour and not get bored.

Hayden is cute and charming. Her character is a dichotomy of maturity and playfulness, often at the same time. There's a scene at the end with her that's almost heartbreaking. J D Moore is hilarious as a writer who's fascinated by the opposite sex. I guess the weak link here is Kelly Hu, who's perfectly satisfactory, but her performance lacks depth. Also, her Chinese accent seemed to go in and out at times.

The best part of the film is the dialogue, which I guess is the thing that made me compare this to Woody Allen.

The movie is not without flaws. As mentioned: Kelly Hu's performance, the subplot with Byron Mann's character at the end (I won't spoil it) seemed contrived, some stilted dialogue by the river (or where ever they were), the scene where they first meet is slightly unbelievable (Beverly Hills teenager taking the bus?) although their relationship was developed well.

I'd say this is love or hate type movie. You will love it if you liked: Lost in Translation, Garden State, old Woody flicks, Little Miss Sunshine and other quirky indie comedies like that. Few things in the plot may not be believable for some, but I doubt anyone would say this isn't entertaining.
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fun movie with some depth
head_hunter10 October 2007
hi, looking at the poster makes you think it might be just another teen/high school/college movie about love, friends etc. but this movie did surprise me a lot in terms of plot and made me laugh without using the f word but instead by using clever dialogs and many small scenes.

It is a movie about a troubled Asian American men (Ken) in his late twenties - a wannabe actor, without job, financially still depended on his dad, whom he cant get along with. at the same time, he gets to know a young 16 year old gorgeous (Hayden) high school girl, whom he really likes, but having the age difference in his head, his moral tells him not to take advantage of that situation. His life suddenly changes when inherited a house in shanghai and he decides moving there to find his own identity and to accept the fact he is not only amercan, but also Chinese.

like any other romance movies, the movie also starts off a little bit cheesy in the beginning, where the two main antagonists meet each other in the bus. But behind that, the movie differs a lot from the usual concept of a romance movie. The main plot is basically about a man's journey finding meaning in life, at the same time involved in a love relationship which is socially not acceptable due to the age difference. Besides the thoroughly thought dialogs, the unique plot, what I personally like most is the way Asian American man is portrayed here. He is not some math nerd, some kung fu guy, he is just some normal guy who is fun and troubled at the same time. Like you and me. This movie is definitely suitable of watching with your girlfriend/date, but it can also be enjoyed by watching alone.

i am going to order it as soon as it is available in Germany, and if you find any grammatical mistakes, you can keep it for yourself!
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Can't Resist Shanghai Kiss
shoane26 March 2007
There is something irresistible about Shanghai Kiss. The story is humorous, romantic, and thought-provoking at many different levels. A young Asian-American in search of his identity, played by Ken Leung, befriends a precocious teenager, played by Hayden Panettiere. Ken gave a brilliant performance as the witty, sensitive, and endearing young man. He was so natural that at no point did I doubt that he was that character. Hayden simply lights up the screen. Her eyes sparkle, and when she smiles, it just melts the audience's heart. As the story continues, Ken inherits a house in Shanghai, and meets a woman played by the lovely Kelly Hu. There are other relationships interwoven into the story, such as Ken's troubled relationship with his father, and his friendship with his straight-shooter nerdy buddy played superbly by Joel David Moore. I can barely do justice in describing how interesting the storyline is and how clever and humorous the dialogs are. But one thing I can say is that you would not be able to resist thinking about this film for days afterwards.
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Wow an Asian male lead who's more a lover than a fighter...
lhhung_himself4 September 2007
First of all, this is quite a touching story about a young man learning about himself and what drives him. One could easily see someone like Zach Braff playing the lead role and the movie does have a bit of the feel of Garden State with perhaps even sharper dialog. It would be a good movie without the added dimension of having the a realistic Asian-American male lead, Liam, brilliantly portrayed by Ken Leung. Liam has problems, but not the stereotypical Asian problem of shyness - he's has no problems picking up women of all races (though he prefers blondes) but can't seem to relate to any of them except a precocious teenager (wonderfully played by Hayden Panettiere of Heroes fame) who is off-limits.

He's forced to look deep into his roots when his grandmother whom he's never met leaves her house in Shanghai. The identity conflict that arise from being born in one country but raised in another is what I call the 1.5 generation problem. The first and second generation of immigrants identify with their country of birth, either the old country or the new one, but those of us that are in between are uniquely cognizant of both cultural pulls. It's not so bad in Canada where this is nearly the norm nowadays, but the monoculture in the US and the pressure to choose tribes puts a lot of stress on someone like Liam or I imagine, the writer, David Ren, who are both Asian and American and neither. This struggle is brought out sensitively, naturally and is touching without being overly sentimental or preachy.

I hope this film what Double Happiness and Sandra Oh did for female Asian-Americans (actually Canadian - she's from my home town) and acclimate Hollywood to a multi-faceted realistic male Asian lead. In any case, regardless of the political implications, this is just a good, enjoyable romantic comedy about a young man finding himself and well worth watching.
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Yang Li4 November 2007
Regardless of some of the stereotypical female characters, unrealistic situations (i.e. white girl picking up Asian guy on a bus), this movie explores some very real issues and important themes.

One of the reasons i think this movie has been taking a lot of flak for its characters development is its the first of its kind to have a Asian American MALE LEAD who DOESN"T fit the stereotypical molds. So obviously, lots of things are unrealistic. But lets examine why they seem unrealistic and seemingly improbable. It is because its never been portrayed.

Media defines culture. Music, movies, literature, art, these things are what defines culture, so obviously anything that happens in the world that can be attributed to any of the aforementioned mediums has credibility and realism, and anything that does not seem improbable. But we have to remember, HUMAN BEINGS write literature, create art, make music and direct movies. WE are in control of what defines us, and i think this movie does a great job in creating a NEW definition of what normal Asian Americans can be like, again it is a movie, so its hypothetical. Does anyone not watch spider man? Again the point is not about whether its realistic, because it is, i've seen it and i've been where this character's been, the emotions that are portrayed are very real, and if your not Asian American, or are not 1.5 generational Asian American, then you simply do not experience this cultural identity confusion and you probably will not understand this movie. But for those who fit the description and can identify with ken leung's character, this movie contains very real emotions, and of course we should be the ones that like this movie. it is kind of a movie about Asian Americans.
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Superb !! ~
ichocolat3 September 2007
How can I begin to describe just how great this movie is? I mean, the movie is simply awesome! So I decided to make the list. Here it goes :

[1] The cast is absolutely amazing. Hayden Panettiere (who stars in the TV show Heroes as Claire Bennet) is absolutely stunning! Her eyes sparkle when she smiles and it surely will melt the audiences' hearts. Ken also does a great job in his acting. His smile is addictive and he is charming, not in the George Clooney kinda way, but more like in Justin Long. Oh ya, Kelly Hu also deliver top-notch acting. Credit to them all!

[2]The storyline is unique and refreshing: I gotta say that I have long to watch a movie that move away from clichés, predictable and forgettable storyline. The story touches my heart deeply it made me somewhat very close to the characters and I can almost feel their feelings, as if I am in their shoes. It is interwoven with many cute, witty moments, and also many sad and heartfelt moments.

[3] The scenery is breathtaking! Usually when I watch Hollywood movies with Shanghai scenes, I watched a filthy, smelly markets selling pork and rats, and people riding bicycles to go to their destinations. I mean, Shanghai is shown as a place that is forgotten by the fast-pace of the globalized world we live in today. However, in this movie, Shanghai is shown as a place with beautiful buildings and places of interests. It is such a refreshing sight.

[4] It is more than just a movie. It is about dilemma faced by many expatriates. They lead their lives away from their home country, and to come back into their hometown will definitely bring back many memories, both good and back. It will also makes one think about one's culture and roots. This movie did exactly this.

So a full score of 10 out of 10 for this movie. Gotta be top of the list to all movie-goers! :)
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One of the best movie in 2007 on Modern Day Asian American Lives
foreversoldier28 October 2007
I believe this is one of the best movie in 2007 on Modern Day Asian American Lives. This is one movie that I loved to watch with my wife. This is got no condescending tone about Asian Americans like many other US movies. The movie was modern, witty and incisive. I enjoyed watching it! I have been to Shanghai and it is very modern in the center piece of the town. Many people do move there from all around the world. The girl singing to a guy on the bus seems unreal to me. But I guess that is one way to add drama. I believe this is one of the best movie in 2007 on Modern Day Asian American Lives. I just read how all the people in the film had worked for almost nothing to support a movie like this. The making of the movie itself is truly amazing. I would recommend this movie to all my friends.
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Garden State but better
hw7115 September 2007
WOW, you gotta see this movie. It has a non-stereotypical Chinese male lead, which is totally rare in Hollywood films. It's a drama that has some comedic moments. It's about this 28 year old Chinese American (this part same as me) living in LA struggling with his acting career and how an opportunity to leave his normal confine changed his outlook on life and his relationship with his father and others. There is the childhood mother accident and the resulting blaming game. There is the overly positive (polar opposite of main character) girl. I know, the overall storyline is almost exactly like Garden State but the detail experiences are completely different. I actually like it a lot more than Garden State. There are less drug use and weird stuff, instead, it has more real life problems and emotions. I don't mind the former, I like Garden State too but the latter just makes you feel so much closer to the characters.

I love the scenes in Shanghai. I really want to go there now. LOL. I wonder if Hayden got the opportunity to visit while shooting the movie. BTW, all the actors were amazing (even the potential house buyer couple). The main actors displayed all range of emotions very convincingly.

I have to admit, I saw an illegal copy of the movie. But I liked it so much that not only am I going to purchase a legit DVD for myself, I'm going to buy a few to give them to my friends. It's unfortunate there is not enough promotion for it so I'm going to help spread the words myself.
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For once, a non-fighting/nerdy/criminal role for an Asian male.
hitman514-120 October 2007
Before Spike Lee came around, Black male actors weren't getting the best roles - a) They were usually the first to die in any movie, b) they normally played the roles of drug dealers, gangsters, criminals, slaves, convicts, and pimps). c) Their roles were restricted to action/crime, musical, or sports-related movies.

Spike Lee changed all of that and it's because of Spike that we got to see black actors, such as Denzel, Terrence Howard, and Jamie Foxx (to name a few)get powerful Oscar-worthy roles.

To date, Asian actors are still suffering in Hollywood.

The only roles Asian actors can get in Hollywood are: a) the evil Asian-villain who gets beaten by the white hero...and the white hero saves the beautiful Asian girl from the clutches of "Dr.Fu-Manchu" b) a gangster, Viet-Cong soldier, Shaolin-Monk, Martial Arts teacher, Chinese-takeout cook/delivery-man, computer-geek, pingpong player, etc... c) anything to do with Martial Arts

It's about time that we have an Asian Spike-Lee! David Ren has stepped up to the batter's box and hit a grand slam with this one and I hope that he comes back for more!

This flick has it all...relevant themes, great movie, great cast, and great director!
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Definition of a great film
siddharthkan3 November 2007
There is so much that has been said already about this film in the previous comments. I just want to add my bit about what I liked in the film. Recently lot of films coming out of Hollywood are daring to explore the question of identity. After 9/11, US government and its institutions are now looking beyond Latin America and Europe. There is both a positive and negative engagement with the other cultures and civilizations. Negative comes out in its dealing with Iraq, Afganistan, Korea and Iran.

Positive form of engagement is seen in the genuine interest in their language, culture and migrants from these countries. There is now a renewed vigour among the American students to learn Arabic, Urdu, Bangla, Hindi, Chinese and other Asian and African languages. Now there is more grant for University Departments dealing with these areas in US. Overall, people are reading more, listening more and watching more to understand more about these people. These nationalities are not just "out there" but they are also "in here" living amongst them as a silent, though a vibrant and prosperous minority of the US society.

Two films dealing with the similar theme of cultural identity and rootlessness came out in theaters this year namely, The Namesake and Shanghai Kiss. Both of them describe a protagonist who is lost and feels isolated and rootless in the cold and desolate American cities. Both have a protagonist that undertakes a journey home to rediscover his roots but comes back feeling more rootless. Both explore the basic question that every migrant faces: Where is the Home? And both the films in some way or the other try to answer that question by invoking a universal emotion called LOVE.

I being an Indian should identify more with The Namesake but thats not the case. I found Shanghai Kiss a lot better. The Namesake was backed by the bestselling book by Jhumpa Lahiri for its story but the story limits the flow of the movie in more ways than one. The pace is slow, very slow and it drags. Arty Stuff, Haan! But Shanghai Kiss dazzles us with its witty dialog, fast pace and great performances by all the actors. Even when it explores the question of identity it never resorts to over-sentimentalism.

I recommend Shanghai Kiss to everyone who is looking for a great Comedy. Although I am not a big fan of comedy (Drama is my thing) But once in a long while there comes a comedy that makes U sit up and take notice. Last time it happened when Elizabethtown was out and now it has happened with Shanghai Kiss. And you can clearly see why? Both films explore the same themes, both involve a journey for the protagonist to trace one's roots, both have great dialog and both are also cute love stories.

Go and watch Shanghai Kiss, if you loved When Harry Met Sally you are going to digg this one too.

P.S. I heard the producers trying hard to get The Namesake nominated for Oscars. Producers of Shanghai Kiss Wake Up!
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Will lead the Asian American revolution.
drjsway3 September 2007
I've been following this movie since before it even started shooting and managed to see it earlier this year at the San Francisco Film Festival. Now I see it's finally getting released. When I first read about it, I thought, an Asian guy dating a white girl in a Hollywood movie?! As an Asian guy myself I hoped it was good because I was sick of people like William Hung representing us. Harold and Kumar had a romantic subplot but it wasn't really the focus of the movie and Harold is a bumbling nerdy stereotype. The problem with AA movies is that none have been really good. Better Luck Tomorrow and Saving Face was probably the best (Motel's good), but where are the sex, lies, videotapes, Reservoir Dogs, Little Miss Sunshines, The Squid and The Whales? For an AA movie to break through into the mainstream, there needs to be a film that can be considered as great as any of those. Even better, it needs to be as good as the best movies out there: godfather, Annie Hall, The Apartment. So you can tell I had high expectations.

This movie surpassed my expectations. This is the film that is "good enough" to put AA cinema into the mainstream and I hope it leads the Asian American revolution and also, raises the standards of other Asian American movies. Good is not enough Asian American filmmakers, your movies need to be great. This movie was funny, sad, romantic, beautiful, and deals will so many issues like a young man struggling with feelings for a teenage girl, alcoholism and how it creates a wall to your family, the loss of a parent at a young age, communicational gaps between 2nd generation American and his 1st generation father, what it means to be American vs Chinese, racial stereotypes in Hollywood, leading a practical, stable life vs a fulfilling life (becoming a lawyer or an artist), maturity vs immaturity, following your heart vs complying to what's socially acceptable, - and it faces all these issues in a funny way. This movie is so funny and that's what makes it so enjoyable. It's not a message movie nor is it preachy. It doesn't try to make a statement, it just tries to entertain but the message, the statement comes through subtly. I hope other Asian American filmmakers take notice. The bar has been raised.
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excellent surprise
annbower1 January 2008
I did not know about this film before I rented it on a whim. It was very entertaining and the acting was great. I especially liked the male lead, Ken Leung. I have only seen him acting as a bad guy in action films. He carried this movie as a leading man (a woman's opinion). I will look for him in movies in the future no matter the genre. Hopefully more Asian's will be seen in mainstream movies. I thought the commentary on the DVD was interesting. It opened up my mind on the meaning behind some of the scenes that I had not considered. I especially enjoy films that keep me thinking about them after they are over. I would watch this movie again just to take it to another level.
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It is really a great move of only few from Hoolywood
Hui Jin (robert8304-1)29 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I don't want to say a lot about it, but just see what the director said "Hayden Panettiere's fee was probably her lowest since she was four years old. She did it because she believed in the movie and knew it was time a story like this was told. Our deal is a royalties deal, meaning the investor gets a percentage of every DVD sold. If this film is a success, Hollywood will take notice and realises that a love story with an Asian male lead could be profitable. If it fails, we could see another twenty years without another film like this. So if you enjoyed it and want more films like it to be made, please support it by purchasing the DVD. You can preorder it here:

Or you can pre order it at whatever retailer you'd like (Amazon, etc.). " Thanks for her, and I love this movie and her :P
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Lovely movie and great theme!
josephson16 October 2007
My parents are 10 years apart. It's a sweet story really and i believe though race/cultural plot was a big one, the age difference was another overlooked theme - love transcends all.

The acting was very captivating. Ken's performance warms on you as the movie goes on and he really wows you the more you see him. Hayden of course was adorable and sweet as always with her role. Her character's hope, faithfulness, and never-give-up attitude is infectious and desirable and inspirational!

Also, Ken's quest for his roots takes him back to a place that ultimately helps him to see his present place much more clearly and better than before! It's a great film about discovery and journey, sacrifice, and ultimately love.

It's too bad this film didn't really hit it on the big screen but the performances are superb and you have to love Hayden's voice - she's a great singer. Hope to see a sequel. This film will catch on big as it hits DVD.
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This movie is outstanding.
mafia_yang11 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I think this is a break through for Asian American to take on a leading role for once. I'm not saying it will happen soon but its an opportunity thats all. About this movie, I enjoyed it although i don't watch drama movie as much but its pretty interesting. The situation "Ken Leung" played is sorta true about Asian American now a days. Most Asian American really don't dig back to their roots meaning some just cant speak there own language but they understand it. I think this movie gives Asian American another perspective on learning about there culture. The over all on this movie I give it a 9-10 because its something i would watch about 2-4 times.
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What a great surprise
jasoncermak2 March 2009
I saw this film at an independent movie night on a campus bar in Calgary, and I must say, it was one of the best movies I have seen this year! Everything in this film is great; great actors, great cinematography, great locations, great writing, great directing, great editing. I can't believe this didn't get picked up more mainstream! Cudos to every talented person involved in this film. A really wonderful story and an unlikely protagonist.

The lost in translation scene with the taxi driver was seriously one of the best scenes I have watched in a long time.

Really recommend checking this one out if you get the opportunity.
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A Review From an American in Shanghai
stucktruckmoose3 April 2008
I recently saw this money and found that it was a great representation of the typical Asian-American as well as the way of life in this city.

Some of my friends commented in how we have been in these very situations such as when the taxi driving was instructed to drive to Jin Mao tower, but actually drove to the countryside. I felt that saw awe feeling that the character was portrayed as feeling when I first arrived and was surrounded by bright lights and tall buildings.

I did not find any inaccuracies in this movie and I would like to point out that I often see western women with Asian men, house prices have indeed recently risen dramatically, and that (from the experience of others) KTV girls do not always have a fee and can very well have emotions too.

The plot aspect where the guy's girlfriend is abused by a rich man is all too true. I have seen this myself and know someone who this happened too.

So for anyone that wants to say that this movie is inaccurate, you should try living in this situation. The living situation here is much different than in America so things that would seem impossible there are very much the standard here.
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ken leung = billy crystal
cockerspaniels320 October 2007
Bought and viewed this film. Rate it an 8.

Think Ken so resembles Billy in his speech. Quite the actor and look forward to more of his films.

Was put off to buy with the white girl dominant on the cover. Reviewed more and so happy with the purchase.

Caucasion with a 22.5 difference age Tianjin girl. In Canada more tolerant of others. Quite disturbing to have the white girl dominant on the cover while this is Ken's movie. Hollywood and America have far to go.

Thousand Pieces Of Gold is some other unappreciated gem.
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With Depth
DinosaursAreUgly5 April 2011
Some of you may complain about the dialogue or the main character's actions, but this movie has more depth than a usual romantic comedy. Liam is trying to find himself, and every Asian American can relate to some of the things he does or has gone through. Most Asian Americans were teased when they were young (whether dick jokes, eye jokes, food jokes, ching-chong jokes), and this makes many have a sense of self-loathing when they are adults. I know so many kids who refused to speak Chinese after they were 7 and forgot their native language just because they thought it is cool to not speak in a weird tongue. If you go to any college campus, you'll see Asian Americans hanging out with each other, and the Asian international students hanging out together (they never ever mingle). The concept of not fitting in with American Culture and not fitting in with the parent's native culture is a struggle properly portrayed in the movie.

The relationship with his father was spot on. You'd be very surprised how many Asian Americans have strained relationships with their parents (especially those who want to go into the creative job fields). What this movie very accurately portrayed was that behind all the tension, the parents still love us and do what they think it is the best for their children.

Liam wanting to go back to China even though deep at heart he belongs in America is something many Chinese-Americans think about. There is something about the charm of a rapidly developing country where people don't judge you based on your looks. But of course Liam, like many Chinese Americans, realizes he doesn't belong in China because everyone considers him American over there, and that is also spot on. I grew up in China, and I started fifth grade here in America. Despite going to school in China, they still say I'm completely American (that was the first thing my cousin said to me off the plane when I went back a couple of summers ago).

And of course, an Asian protagonist who deals with all these genuine problems, and still gets the girl. So many people think there is some sort of Lolita complex going on because Adelaide was only 16 when they met. But if you watch the movie closely, Liam tries very hard to avoid any contact that could be interpreted as sexual with Adelaide (remember the scene in the car where he tells her he's going to China to check out his house, and she tries to kiss him in the mouth, but he declines?).

A lot of people complain about the white friend, who seems to be there only to make the Asian look good because the white guy cannot get the girl. But I have to say, there are many white guys who are shy around girls, just like there are many guys in general who are shy around girls. That's that. I don't think there is a reason to read into this and think they are purposely reverse discriminating.

All in all, there is what is called a collective action problem going on in the Asian-American community here in America. No one wants to take the first step in the process of integrating mainstream. The ones who do try to go into film or the media take on a huge cost onto themselves because of the lack of opportunities for Asian movie makers and the potential disapproval they will get from their parents and their practically-routed friends. The director of this movie, God bless him, decided to take some action and take on a huge risk. This is very admirable. What the Asian American community needs to do is to act collectively. Encourage the young filmmakers, encourage people to do what they want to do, and most importantly, actually doing what you want to do. When we all change our outlook and our actions, we will overcome this collective action problem and effectively change the sad fact that Asian Americans are badly stereotyped on TV and movies.

9/10 Go David Ren!!
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Could be Better...
choky827 June 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Well, the movie was not bad but i felt it was missing a lot of scenes, what i mean by this is that the encounters of Liam and Addy were too short, as an audience i didn't feel connected to the character of Liam(as one usually does when seeing a movie, at least in some great movies i do), i mean i did feel connected in some parts of the movie, I'm a Korean living in Mexico hence the connection, but i couldn't say if Liam was really in love with Addy, but there is more, i felt that the movie was like a mix of several movies like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind(Scene where Addy mets Liam), Lost in Translation(Scenes where Liam is in Shanghai), Garden State(Both characters, Addy the cheerful girl with some emotional scars and Liam struggling actor in L.A. that has issues with his father(about his mother) and his difficulty to show emotions), When Harry met Sally(Last scenes, where he runs to her house(more like a satirical part of When Harry met Sally, because in the movie Harry is not even tired after his long run and Liam smokes when he is resting(very funny), arriving at Addy's House all sweaty), and Addy saying "why do you make it so hard for me to hate you" (like Addy says News Flash Sally said the same thing to Harry) and i don't know if there is another similar movie but you get the idea. Overall not a Bad movie i give it a 6.5(I'm unintentionally being like Liam's friend Joe(those who saw this movie understand what I'm talking about)), i really enjoyed the song Lilly of Pink Martini and also the reference of Nat King Cole(that made me search for his songs). Well that all folks. Thank you for reading all the way through my comment(I usually don't write comments).
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Once in a while, something different comes along.
Genjuro_X0027 February 2008
Firstly, I liked this movie. I liked it for the fact that it explored a lot of ideas that I myself have seen and experienced. Yes I'm Asian, but that doesn't make me automatically like this movie. I took a step outside the confines of who played what role and looked at it from a spectator and movie goer experience, and I found that it was a very interesting movie. I think that if you look beyond the Asian element of this movie, it can be applied to anyone. This is a movie about finding oneself and coming to terms with oneself, and I think this movie does it very well.

Acting wise I think that everyone did very well. I've never seen Ken Leung in a non-action movie before so I'm glad that I'm able to see a different, more realistic, side of him.

All in all, this is a good movie to see. I would definitely say rent it if you would like to see it.
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Excellent movie
nateguy30 October 2007
Thumbs up to Shanghai Kiss! It's about time for a story like this. While some scenes seem unrealistic (ie. hot girl picking up a random Asian guy on the bus. Hmmm that would be our ideal world!), I think David Ren did a great job on the storyline. As an Asian American who grew up in HK, I felt I could relate to this film in many ways, namely the culture shock felt in my ancestral homeland. It's about time a film shows an Asian American guy as he is, not some stereotypical kungfu artist or some computer nerd. Hayden Panettiere is lovely and as others have said, her character complements Liam's. The optimistic younger girl with the pessimistic older guy.
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the catcher in shanghai?
tieniemajig28 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
I'm somewhat surprised to see such high praise for this film in other reviews here. In a nutshell, while I feel that the movie is decent, it didn't blow me away and it's not something I'll really recommend to friends.

I took a certain delight in many of the scenes in the movie: the opening scene where the title character fights through Asian stereotypes while trying to audition for a commercial, the awe and wonder he feels seeing Shanghai for the first time, and his helplessness with the Chinese language as he tries to get back to his hotel. There are a few good laughs in the movie, and sure enough an emotional edge to it which some people will relate to -- in a way, you can call the title character an Asian American "Holden Caufield," if you will, as we watch him feeling empty and going through the motions, struggling with a difficult emotional past and present.

However, I felt no love at all for Hayden's character or frankly any interest in their relationship. She sure is nice to look at, but the whole premise of a hot blonde sixteen year old Beverly Hills chick flirting with a much older Asian man on the bus seemed a wee bit implausible, if not outright painful once you throw in her baby talking and bizarre instantaneous attachment and clinginess.

Overall, the laughs were a bit too few and far between and the story was a bit lackluster, feeling to me like an awkward and somewhat mediocre mixture of "Garden State" and "Lost in Translation." As an Asian American, I really wanted to love the film -- but I just didn't find it entertaining or profound.
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Really Great Movie!!
sunilmoris23 January 2008
The title and the DVD screen does not show the real emotions and reality of the movie, I'm from India, but the movie was soo personal and touchy, that i felt like it happened in my backyard.

Many of the plots have happened to me personally, and i guess an independent, out of the box minded Asian guy, even though not living in USA would relate to this movie.

This is so real man, i could not believe David Ren born in US, got around in Shanghai had a parallel level of emotions and life with me being able to relate to it here in India.

This is my first post, due to the intensity of the emotions in the movie, i had no choice but to comment.

David movies are a must see, and with that kinda talent, I'm sure, we are going to see really awesome movies in the coming years.

Thanks for making such a great movie, you have touched many hearts around the world.
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Kelly Hu is beautiful, but this movie is lacking.
abtronic31 August 2007
I'm doing this review to undo the harm a previous IMDb poster did to me. Most likely the reviewer had something to do with the production of this film. The glowing review made me want to see this film only to be slightly disenchanted by it. I really wanted this movie to be good because Asian American films are limited to action martial arts films, which shows the current lack of acceptance of Asian Americans as viable leading men or ladies. So, I was going into this movie with good expectations, and I found myself first questioning the writing, then the acting, and casting. The contrivance and farce needed to accept the much of the film is outside my range. At no point did I believe any of the character development points, which mostly likely has to do with the casting. Ken Leung doesn't work in my opinion because he lacks all likability and charm needed for this part. Hayden's perverse attraction to him and her baby talk performance really turned me off. Kelly Hu is beautiful and believable, but her accent was less then believable. Boy, is she one beautiful woman. Hmmmm. Anyway, I do appreciate what the screenwriter was attempting, because the story line is believable on many levels. Being an Asian American actor that doesn't do stunts is like an automatic blacklist in Hollywood. The directors lost some of the nuance of reality in many scenes, which was distracting. I guess I can forgive a lot of these little things that threw me off. By the end of the movie I do like Ken Leung, but not his performance. I'll give this movie a five for the attempt, but nothing as glowing as the previous poster.
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