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Dim Sum Funeral
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Dim Sum Funeral More at IMDbPro »

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15 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Pretty good actually

Author: dluu81 from United States
12 November 2009

i came into this movie not really expecting much probably because I've seen a lot of Asian American films that ended up disappointing. that wasn't to be the case this time. dim sum funeral has a lot of stuff going for it. i found the family interactions pretty believable and universal (im Chinese American btw), the story had many plot lines and while yes, it could get somewhat episodic, there are actually many Hollywood movies that fall into this structure too and that's the nature of life, isn't it? throughout the movie, i was pretty entertained and didn't look at the time and felt myself caring for the characters which is the greatest compliment one can pay a story. i also absolutely loved the music. the simple piano music really reminded me of the east Asian aesthetic in films and the film became "more Asian" as a result. also, it gave the movie a ethereal and fleeting quality perfect for a movie about death and life. and i don't know how they got her but talia shire is wonderful in the film. it's really great to see her back and it was fun looking to see if the actors would be intimidated by her stature which they weren't. really, all the main characters and even bai ling which i normally cant stand do quite admirably.

all in all, dim sum funeral was a very nice, elegant and heartfelt surprise and i recommend it. 8 out of 10.

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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

This is a great movie.

Author: whall005 from United States
13 September 2010

First of all, let me begin by saying that I am appalled by critic reviews of this movie. Describing the film as 'predictable' and involving a 'typical Chinese-American family' is an insult to the cast and crew. There is nothing typical about this Chinese-American family. Seeing as how many film critics are introverted white Americans, it is easy for them to forget that these people have very different values than other Americans. To be able to critique this movie fairly, you must know a good deal about Asian culture on the whole. The 'predictable' twists that occur may be typical of your average American family--but in Asian families, it is more of a rarity.

Needless to say, I was quite surprised at some of the revelations the children had about their deceased mother, especially considering the fact she was born and raised in China. These revelations give a more human feel to the rigid culture of the Chinese, and give the movie substance.

Asian intolerance of infidelity, interracial marriage, and homosexuality is also explored in depth. This part of the movie personifies the characters before they even speak more than a few lines, and helps humanize the 'Dragon Lady' over the course of the movie. There is much more that I could say about this movie, but I believe I've said enough to offer a conclusion: As Americans, we don't generally put much thought into ideas like homosexuality, interracial marriage, and infidelity. Its all around us--and we become numb to it. But these ideas can become catalysts for mayhem in Asian families, where such ideas are shunned or outright forbidden. Understanding this fact will help you understand--and enjoy--the movie.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

A Chinese-American Soap Opera

Author: Claudio Carvalho from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
29 December 2010

The lesbian actress Meimei (Steph Song), the doctor Alexander (Russell Wong), the real state agent Elizabeth (Julia Nickson) and the journalist Victoria (Françoise Yip) are contacted by Viola (Talia Shire) that tells that their mother Ms. Lingy "Lynda" Xiao (Lisa Lu) had died. The Chinese-American siblings head to Seattle with their families where their mother's assistant Viola tells that her last wish was a seven-day Chinese funeral with her dysfunctional family. Meanwhile, the stranger pianist and Tai Chi Chun follower Chow Lin (Chang Tseng) arrives from Beijing for the funeral. Along the next days, Meimei and her partner Dede Chan (Bai Ling) try to get sperm from the monk Bruce (Curtis Lum), and Viola delivers a letter from her mother telling the truth about her father. Alex tries to reconcile with his wife and former Miss Taiwan Cindy (Kelly Hu). Liz still grieves the loss of her son Sammy and is not ready to return to her husband Michael (Adrian Hough). On the sixth day of the funeral, the siblings have a huge surprise.

"Dim Sun Funeral" has a potential story about a dysfunctional family with estranged siblings, loss of traditions, bitterness and reconciliation with many wealthy characters. Unfortunately the director Anna Chi makes a poor work and the plot becomes a melodramatic and sometimes boring Chinese-American soap opera, lost between the comedy and the heavy drama. Anyway, there are many interesting values and traditions from the Chinese culture and it is worthwhile watching this movie at least once. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): "Meu Último Desejo" ("My Last Wish")

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6 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Unrealistic portrayal of sibling rivalry

Author: maryszd from United States
13 August 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Dim Sum Funeral is about a family of estranged siblings who find themselves having to get back together in the process of planning their mother's funeral. In doing so, they all stop fighting and learn to accept each other. This is a charming film in some ways, but its depiction of sibling rivalry is not realistic. In a truly dysfunctional family, which this family purports to be, occasions like weddings and funerals are not times to come together, they're times to wage further warfare. And once things like wills and inheritances are thrown in, the fur starts to fly. This would have been a better and more psychologically true movie if the siblings continued to be estranged from each other at the movie's end; it would have shown the difficulty of healing childhood wounds and the essential loneliness that adults who've had an unhappy childhood carry throughout their lives.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Monk Spunk?

Author: Mikel Koven from Worcester, UK
9 December 2010

It's rare for me to post anything about a bad movie, particularly one I've not even finished watching yet, but my gods this is a dreadful flick. Self-righteous, preachy, maudlin, clichéd and simply embarrassing rip-off of the much superior Joy Luck Club. I'm just waiting for someone to cry out in anguish "Mom loved you best!" Not sure how long I can actually keep my dinner down for...

"Tradition. It's important" "Yes. It is."

I approached this film thinking there might be some interesting ethnographic material about ethnic Chinese funeral customs, but when one of the daughters who is lesbian, approached one of the officiating monks about being a sperm donor so she and her partner can conceive, and then he produces a turkey baster filled with 'monk spunk' and the realization he is not cut out to be a monk...

And the final plot twist of the film ... why? At what point did a grown person think, "hey- this is a good idea".

Truly a remarkable entry in the slop bucket of contemporary cinema.

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9 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

so dramatic, so not Chinese, so awful

Author: tonghua2005 from Canada
25 July 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I guess whoever made this movie wanted something like Chinese version "Two Weeks" but with more twist, more dramatic, and they so did that, terribly!

From the beginning, all the family members hated their mother so much, dislike each other so much, and as the days goes by, they start to learn to celebrate life? why? because the memory from the childhood? but what made them hated their mother, stopped talking to each other? isn't that the same childhood? As the story plays along, instead of revealing the reason why they become so bitter, the big twist kicks in, even though nothing above was ever explained, the twist made me understood why they hate their mother so much, but strangely, all of the sudden, instead hating her like I felt, they all start loving their mother,loving each others, then everyone start happily eating funeral Dim Sim. Is this a joke?

Overall, the story line is awful, I would give it a 0 if I could, the only reason I gave it a 2 is that some of the actors are decent(not Bai Ling, she does not how to act at all in this film)

Oh, another funny thing is, when the mother went to Hongkong, it said that she was 16, which is in 1960s, so she will be 63 the most by 2008, then the age of all the roles can't add up, so they got a 81 yrs old to play the mother role, wired huh? or is this a movie about future?

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Disappointing all around

Author: vincentlynch-moonoi from United States
18 May 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I watched this film for two reasons. First, I lived in Asia for a while, so I like a little re-taste of the culture. Second, I've always liked Russell Wong, who plays the son here. Unfortunately, I felt disappointed with both aspects of the film.

The only thing moderately interesting about the film is the surprise ending...IF you don't see it coming...which I did. That means everything else is a disappointment, as well. And monk spunk...I'm sorry, but I don't think you just masturbate into a styrofoam cup in order to artificially inseminate someone. I thought my family was screwed up. We couldn't hold a candle to the family portrayed here. In fact, that's my main complaint -- far too much animosity among family members.

I'm not very impressed with the cast, either. Russell Wong was a disappointment here, although I have liked him in other films and his short-lived television series. The other actors and actresses here were totally unfamiliar to me. They all did their jobs, but nobody stood out.

Nope. I may enjoy Asian culture. But I didn't much enjoy this film.

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Makes Me Wonder

Author: VIETgrlTerifa
24 July 2015

As an Asian-American who is always dying for more representation, I was really rooting for this movie to win. I either seriously enjoyed most of the actors in other material or thought they had potential but haven't found the right vehicle yet.

That said, this movie makes me wonder what it could have been in more capable hands. If the screenwriter had a lot more craftsmanship to juggle all of the introduced ideas and actually resolved them in a very natural and realistic way that didn't seem tacked on or written by someone who cannot write fully realized characters with deep human motivation and emotion in a realistic way. If the director knew how to set up scenes and make the action go organically rather than in the very stilted manner this movie was done in.

There were also some weird issues, like how everyone sounded dubbed in this movie. That made the acting seem mechanical and fake, and did nothing to help us buy into the scenes at all. With the already lacking screenplay which doesn't properly provide any real subtext for the characters and the wooden directing of scenes already not helping our perceptions of the actors' abilities, the dubbing just made the acting seem worse than it had to be.

I could write a huge essay about all the specific plot points that were haphazardly introduced and then dropped and how the audience is supposed to simply accept certain things without actually being shown or feeling as if those things actually happened to these characters. I've done so on the message board. Instead I'll just conclude that there was an idea here with potential, but it was not realized.

I will say the best scene was when the siblings joined one of the other characters in Tai Chi. That scene seemed like it could have came from the hypothetical well-made movie I thought this movie could have been.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

don't keep watching, it doesn't get any better, it just gets beyond bad

Author: filmgal24 from United States
9 May 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I completely agree with the other reviews panning this movie. It's too boring to be a pop movie and too stupid to be a serious one. You may hang in there despite the fact that the characters are so unlikeable (particularly the dead woman) and insipid, you may multi-task through the cringe-worthy dialogue, press pass the predictable sequence of events (though there's no one to root for, no one to motivate any sense of engagement), all the while thinking, there must be one kernel of novel insight or characterization, something that would justify making a whole movie. Particularly as a Chinese - American, you hope for this kind of thing to succeed and to derive something interesting and relevant to your own life and experience. But somehow it manages to get less interesting, to get bafflingly superficial as though the divine muses at Disney had intervened to demand a more pat and sociable plot. At the start, the problems at least have the potential to be interesting though very predictable and thoroughly explored in other better films. I was vaguely intrigued by the thorough unlikeability of the mother, all the other films had provided the parent's perspective (for example, why destroying a daughter's relationship with the love of her life because he's black may actually be understandable or have some redeeming rationale; and showing acts of love by the parent for the child that reveals the parent's humanity, their own resistance to the shackles of culture) - was this a new take? alas, no. The siblings begin to cooperate in the "last wishes" of their mother out of what is clearly guilt, and from no where that guilt is transformed into honest grief, respect and love, like blood into wine. There's very little exploration of the reasons for the hatred by the children. But presumably, like in real life, it was failure to do the things that actually inspire honest grief, respect and love - like being there and helping the eldest daughter through the loss of her son (my mom would simply have come to me and camped out indefinitely), sending a present for her black grandson's birthday or attending her granddaughter's recital. It's not clear to me why death would absolve a mother from her duty in such acts of forgiveness and love, in my experience, death is when a miserable bastard really pays the piper. This felt uncomfortably like the work of someone who couldn't stand their mother but felt really guilty about it.

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3 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Dim Wits Funeral

Author: right left from United States
28 April 2010

This movie tries desperately to be in so many other movies footsteps that it just winds up tripping all over itself. This movie is essentially The Joy Luck Club's, Ugly Twin Sister. Although the writing is bad, it's not completely a mess. I do like that it tries to show that Chinese Americans are progressive in American society, but it never departs from some serious jingoistic dialog that seems borrowed from a bag of fortune cookies. The Family is actually a bore, but the writer thinks that by making one a lesbian, and another marry a Black Man would make them more interesting. Also, having all the non-family members play completely humble, somewhat quirky, incredibly understanding, and knowledgeable to the family's "attitude" is just unbelievable. The Directing is somewhat amateurish but better than some Chinese Soap Serials. The actors are all so stiff in their performances - I've seen better performances with claymation. On the bright side, Russle Wong's acting has improved just enough to be the best performance in the whole movie - that's bad.

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