An Asian-American actor, living in Los Angeles, is forced to reconsider his roots as well as the possibilities afforded him by his present situation after suddenly inheriting his grandmother's home in Shanghai.

Directors:

Kern Konwiser, David Ren

Writer:

David Ren
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2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ken Leung ... Liam Liu
Hayden Panettiere ... Adelaide Bourbon
Kelly Hu ... Micki Yang
Joel David Moore ... Joe Silverman (as Joel Moore)
James Hong ... Mark Liu - Liam's Dad
Kathleen Lancaster Kathleen Lancaster ... Georgia
Lorna Scott ... Casting Director
Spencer Redford ... Jessica / Cute Blonde
Steve Connell Steve Connell ... Casting Director (voice)
Brian Gardner Brian Gardner ... Young Handsome Guy
Timothy Bottoms ... Adelaide's Father
Summer Altice ... Virginia
Oliver Yan Oliver Yan ... Ling Ming
Byron Mann ... Jai Li
Chen Li Chen Li ... Amy
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Storyline

A struggling Chinese-American actor, who unwittingly finds himself involved with a high school girl, learns he has inherited his grandmother's home in Shanghai. The American-raised character moves to China in an attempt to connect with his ancestry, leaving behind quite possibly the only girl who has ever loved him. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Love needs no translation.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the scene where Liam and Micki are watching a movie, Liam mentions how The Rock sounds like Richard Simmons and Micki asks 'Who is the Rock?'. Kelly Hu starred in The Scorpion King (2002) with Dwayne Johnson (The Rock). See more »

Goofs

When Joel returns to the table he is clearly seen holding a single serving butter pack in his left hand as he sits down, but as we switch to a different camera angle, he is holding a fork. See more »

Quotes

Casting Director: So... you know Kung Fu?
Liam Liu: [Caught off guard] Er...
Casting Director: What Color belt are you?
Liam Liu: Er... I... I... I don't have a belt. Oh... you know what I love? I love suspenders.
Casting Director: You don't know martial arts?
Liam Liu: No...
Casting Director: It says on your resume that you know martial arts.
Liam Liu: Is... is there martial arts in this commercial? I thought it was for toothpaste?
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Connections

References Green Card (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

Nothing But the Sky
Performed by Ivy
Written by Dominique F. Goldberg, Adam Schlesinger & Andy Chase
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User Reviews

 
Powerful film!
31 August 2007 | by froeperSee all my reviews

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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Details

Country:

USA | China | Hong Kong

Language:

English | Mandarin

Release Date:

17 March 2007 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Shanghai Kid See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (European Film Market) | (TV)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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