Top Customer Reviews
That said, what is strongest about the film is when the filmmaker and camera take us out of the restaurant and into the streets. Anyone who is familiar with Queens will instantly recognize Queens Center, Main Street, and the coup de grace, the old DRAKE movie theater, which was on Woodhaven Blvd, before it went out of business. These settings in and of themselves don't make for a movie, but they lend the film an authenticity of place.
The lead actor is also very convincing and with his muted performance conveys the angst of an immigrant seeking his place in the U.S.
Although the major dramatic question of will this illegal immigrant find a way to stay legally in the U.S. isn't answered at the film's end--the question is actually just dropped and forgotten 2/3 of the way in, the film does a good job of sustaining viewer's interest by picking up various strands of the ensemble drama. Will the hostess learn Chinese? Will the waiter with the gambling problem get caught? etc.
The film works and is an impressive first feature. The question in my mind is, whatever to the director Tony Chan? Has he done other films since? Anyone know?????
that is precisely what the movie is about!
A Chinese illegal immigrant (Robert) who is seriously worried about survival and staying on in America - like all immigrants including legal ones like myself.
An American woman (Claire) for whom life is about self-fulfillment including a casual romance.
When these two worlds meet, grapple and try to come to terms, it comes apart.
The chinese man works as a waiter in a restaurant and there are true vignettes of chinese restaurant life.
Unwittingly perhaps, the director let on that many Chinese are not very truthful or in their culture it is not valued highly. When Robert (our hero) decides to come clean and honestly tell Claire what he wants, she doesnt recognize it because of the white lies he has told before.
Unfortunately the reviewers below are unable to appreciate the subtleness and some sadness - much like real life. They are like Claire in the movie.
Great movie - could replace Chinese with Indian, Hispanic etc and would in many places still be accurate.
His friend introduces him to an American Chinese girl who is very outspoken and self-absorbed. She knows no Chinese. They negotiate for her to marry him for the sum of $25,000. Unfortunately, she senses his desperation and refuses, unless he will pay her $50,000. The sum is too large, he can not afford it. The friend provides him another option, date an American woman and try to marry her. Robert finds this choice uncomfortable but he has little choice so he goes along with the plan. He is introduced to Claire, an American young lady who works with computers. Their first date is to a movie, where Robert nearly falls asleep and Claire raves about the film, while Robert agrees with everything she says since he does not remember anything about it.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I rented this from Blockbuster Online. It was okay but after watching the whole film I was surprised when the credits started rolling and it felt like there should be more, like... Read morePublished on June 4, 2009 by anonymous
I had higher expectations for this movie as a Sundance winner and consequently it was disappointing.
Pieces of the movie were quite good. Read more
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This movie was a Sundance winner? I heard this was a great movie so I was very excited about my lucky purchase. Read morePublished on May 31, 2005 by Jade K.