An American in China 2006 NR CC

Amazon Instant Video

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(11) IMDb 5.1/10

"It's time I chose a direction and the Far East is as good as any," shrugs David Braddock (James Snyder, She's the Man), exactly the kind of aimlessness that has his parents worried about their newly minted college grad.

Starring:
James Snyder, Sun Fei Fei
Runtime:
1 hour, 30 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance, Comedy
Director Ron Berrett
Starring James Snyder, Sun Fei Fei
Supporting actors Anthony Montgomery, Alice Greczyn, Michael Gross, Jorge Luis Abreu, Priscilla Barnes, Taylor Cole, Michael Cornacchia, Steve Geiger, Clare Harper, Keith Oney, Dustin Dugas Schuetter
Studio Osiris Entertainment
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 7-day viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

In fact the acting throughout is pretty bad.
Paul Lawrence
Very typical stereotypes of downtrodden Chinese beauty, naive young American who sees the light about the complexity and depth of the Orient.
Forrest Rhoads
I'm actually only half-way through right now, so I don't know how it ends, and frankly, I don't care.
totally dude

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Gemseeker on June 19, 2010
Format: DVD
First, in the extras we learn that this movie was filmed using mostly the real inhabitants of a small Chinese village, so their (mostly ordinary) reactions to things that happen really show that despite what politicians would have us believe, these are real people, the kind you meet in everyday life. The have jobs, cook, take care of kids, watch TV (together, since apparently there's only one TV in the whole village--reminds me of when watching TV in America in the 1950's was supposed to "bring the family together")...

I watched this movie not so much for the story, but for a welcome, close look at the culture that is the real China. For example, two Asian values were subtly displayed in one short sentence, spoken by the high-school educated female lead of the movie: "Boys are so lucky." (This line is delivered with a kind of "oh, well" feeling. There's not a hint of the kind of rebellion that an American raised after women's lib would feel obliged to raise.) This statement shows not only the obvious idea of male-dominated cultures, but also the more subtle concept that one must accept one's fate with grace.

I didn't have too much trouble understanding everyone, despite the thick accents, but I recommend you turn on the subtitles anyway.

The actual story, about an aimless young American man whose family makes him travel to China on a business trip and while he's there, falls in love with a young woman who dreams of going to University, is okay, but not great. You can see the producers wanted to try to make this movie appeal to young people who only want to see a romance/sexy movie, not a culture study, so they throw in some silly scenes that seem out of place, like they belong in a soap opera or something. (The beach-volleyball-fight comes to mind.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Murphy on May 20, 2011
Format: DVD
This is good because it shows the real china in detail. Real chinese english accents , real chinese characters, real culture. I have lived in china for a few years so recognise this as the real deal. Its a good a travel insight into China you can get for the usual westerner and had a nice romantic storyline with suberb acting by the chinese leading lady in particular. Only spoiled by a vollleyball fun fight and a scene of angry chinese villlagers running after the american. Easily enjoyable, touching and lots of wisdom too. A rare find in a day of films that skim the surface.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By totally dude on April 23, 2011
Format: DVD
To start off...I skipped the first ten minutes or so of the movie. It's pretty much stupid MTV real-world like depictions.

I recommend you do the same. Just skip forward to the part where he travels to asia.

The most commendable thing about the movie is its realism. There is no embellishment: this is how asian people are and how asian streets look. The humor is light-hearted as well, but funny I found. I'm actually only half-way through right now, so I don't know how it ends, and frankly, I don't care. Enjoy.
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Format: DVD
Even viewers who like this sort of fish out of water comedy and movies that deal - lightly - with differences in culture and meaning will find this a hard slog.

The basic premise is that David is a directionless college graduate whose family makes toilet brushes (yes seriously). His parents decide sending him to China to help set up their local supplier will straighten him out. So far so cliché. And it doesn't get any better. The inevitable romance between this charmless and witless young chap and the stereotypical shy local girl with a relatively poor family is painfully lacking in screen chemistry. In fact the acting throughout is pretty bad. The young Chinese love interest Fei Fei Sun gives this acting thing the ol' college try and in the few scenes he is in Michael Gross lends instant gravity to proceedings and - dare I say it - a fraction of depth. Beyond that it is all pretty poor stuff - to the point where you start to think your good self could have probably done just as well.

Anyway without giving too much away things proceed pretty much exactly how they were always going to and for a film that is supposed to light hearted there is approximately 1.5 chuckles in it. Not to mention the sub-plots that are put in but never developed. Like the main characters best friend trying to make a move on his sister (played by a Alice Greczyn who from the looks of her could not possibly be from the same family unless she is adopted), like the Chinese love interest lady having a local fellow interested in her, like business problems being alluded to but never developed beyond the most peripheral and there is scene after scene that seems to be there because it is supposed to be there to fill the allotted time.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kid Kyoto VINE VOICE on June 27, 2010
Format: DVD
China today is one of the most fascinating places in the world and one of the most important. So the time seems ripe for a fish out of water story where an American learns about China and about himself.

An American in China tries to be that film but falls down with a cliche-ridden script that fails to entertain or inform. David is a slacker looking for direction who goes to China, apparently to out-source the family's plumbing supply business, where he finds confusion, culture shock and true love.

Most of the jokes were old when they were building the Great Wall. David walks into a tree, David trips on the bed sheets, David eats gross food and David is chased by angry villagers. The romance with Mei (the only other English speaker around) is as obvious and forced as you might expect. The China shown is a bit fake, they pass off a major tourist attraction near Suzhou as a typical Chinese town. It's rather like saying Venice is a typical Italian city. And for some odd reason Mei's family is not bound by the one-child policy. Actually there's no mention at all of politics, not too surprising since shooting in China requires government permission and script approval. So somehow David never runs into censored news or has his internet access blocked.

All that being said there are some good features, the emphasis on exams and university rings true, the hospitality of China is showcased and a scene at a karaoke parlor shows some of the dark side of women's lives in modern China.

But in the end this is not a particularly entertaining or insightful film, which is a shame because there are very few films about China that are.
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