On the eve of their high school graduation, two academic superstars and best friends realize they should have worked less and played more. Determined not to fall short of their peers, the girls try to cram four years of fun into one night.
New York public relations powerhouse Patrice Tanaka, in the wake of 9/11 and facing a personal crisis involving her beloved husband, turns to ballroom dancing as an escape. Against all odds... See full summary »
A fun film that explores what is meant to be an Asian American
In the last few years we have seen unprecedented focus and interest for films featuring diverse actors with narratives that are deeply grounded in their ethnic cultures. Despite this trend, the stories that spoke to the Asian American experience were lacking. As it may seem exaggerated at parts, this film provides a much needed perspective into the life of an "Almost-Crazy Rich Asian".
The general formula that this story follows is not novel. The movie starts with Sasha, a spoiled and entitled international student, facing a typical recently graduated student problem - finding a job. Anna Akana does a great job of conveying her character as it made me feel both empathetic and schadenfreude. Finding a job sucks, but damn you deserve it for being so wasteful!
What follows, as you may expect from the title, Sasha goes back to China.
Although at times the writing relies on cliché and rather hollow devices to demonstrate the complexity of its characters, for example, that there is more to Sasha than being a brat, the characters felt authentic.
Perhaps intended by the director, or simply decades of acting experience demonstrated by Lynn Chen's nuanced expressions, I definitely felt more attached to Carol (Lynn's character) than Sasha.
What felt unique about the film was its execution. It told a convincing coming-of-age story through the lense of an Asian American. Its contrast and blend of both American and Asian experiences felt real. Watching the roller coaster of Sasha and Carol's relationship, caused by the differences of their values - Asian Americans aren't all alike, was satisfying.
I was disappointed by how the movie chose to expose the root of Richard Ng's character, Teddy, the father. Somethings must be demonstrated rather than discussed over lunch.
Despite its flaws, the movie had plenty of heartwarming moments and twists that kept me entertained and invested. As an Asian Canadian, it was refreshing to see a story that sought to tackle the intricacies of our culture and familial conflicts. I left the theater wanting more. 95 minutes is short!
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