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Xi yan (1993)
A GREAT LAIDBACK MOVIE!
I really loved this film, I knew nothing about it before I saw it and so was really surprised.
It's a great example of modern day life and combines so many issues of today - sexuality, cross-cultural life, tradition/modernity etc. But it's not a "gay" film and it's not a "foreign" film, it mixes these elements really well into a very typically Hollywood story. But it is also able to use them to comment on social stereotypes and grouping, but without blatantly doing so.
The characters are all very likeable and I really felt sympathy for the positions they were all in - a young man (Wai-tung) trying to please both his parents and his partner Simon, an illegal immigrant (Wei-wei) who wants to stay in America, and Wai-tung's boyfriend Simon trying his best to be accommodating and patient though feeling pushed out of the family.
The messages of this film about tolerance and honesty are not pushed in your face. It's a very easygoing film that is very funny in some places and sad in others. There are some subtitles and some is in English because we, the audience, must learn to integrate our own way of life with others, just like the people in the film.
Out to Sea (1997)
Purely for the sake of interest...
You can't help but be impressed with the cast list! It's truly a high school reunion of the class of Hollywood Greats, but perhaps that's not enough.
This is your typical Lemmon/Matthau comedy of recent years. Matthau constantly getting Lemmon into trouble. I'm sure many people would find it irritating to see two rather old men trying to regain their lost youth and still chasing the 'broads' round the boat, but because it's Jack and Walter I'm prepared to give them that privilege!
They manage to get jobs on a cruise ship as dance hosts which Walter's character Charlie sees as a chance to meet and wed a young, beautiful and wealthy woman, in the form of Dyan Cannon. Jack's character, Herb, is as usual the more sensible one, who finds love with a woman his own age (played by Gloria De Haven), and after the obligatory problems along the way, they all get together in the end.
I was impressed to spot Donald o'Connor in the line-up and he proves, in his one moment in the spotlight that he can still move. I found the regular comic inserts that cropped up from O'Connor and Hal Linden to be quite amusing. The romantic matching of Matthau and Dyan Cannon is, frankly, just weird. Brent Spiner is quite funny as the pompous cruise director, Gil Godwyn, but, to me, Elaine Stritch's was by far the funniest role playing Dyan Cannon's mother, she was very good. I cannot bring myself to criticize Jack and Walter, I still think Jack has that poor helpless victim style of acting that he often had in his roles which I love, and Walter is his usual lovable rogue! Like I say, it is nice to see them all again.
Personally, it felt more like an excuse for some old-timers to get together again and have a few laughs, which is fine and quite interesting to see, but not a must see!
MY FILM OF THE MONTH!!
I adore this film so much, I saw it on TV and bought it a few weeks later, it is truly one of my favorite John Waters films.
It's one of those films in which every character is perfectly written. Pecker is a very lovable character and he and all those around him have some ingenious eccentricities that makes this film hilarious - my personal favorites are Pecker's sisters, Tina and Little Chrissy.
It basically satirizes the whole patronizing way that the New York art scene looks upon the rest of "small town" America. Pecker's 'mundane life' photography is discovered and he has to learn to deal with the sudden dizzying heights of fame. The film, as it states itself, puts an end to all irony after it turns the condescention of the art world back to reflect itself and realizes that some people are happier in that small town America that artists are so fond of studying.
It's not that complicated though. This film can be just a perfect excuse for 87 minutes of pure hilarity. I don't think I could pinpoint the funniest moment: Memama's talking statue of Mary, Little Chrissy's sugar addiction or the infamous t-bagging scenes! Just see it all for yourself!