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Mail Order Wife

4.6 out of 5 stars 73 customer reviews

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(Oct 04, 2005)
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Editorial Reviews

A DOCUMENTARIAN FUNDS A NYC DOORMAN'S ASIAN MAIL ORDER BRIDE EXCHANGE FOR THE RIGHT TO FILM THE EXPERIENCE.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Jose Canseco, Charles Debold, Krista Gall, Luke Geissbuhler, John Gramaglia
  • Directors: Huck Botko
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: First Independent
  • DVD Release Date: October 4, 2005
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000AL72RI
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,209 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mail Order Wife" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This movie is a classic example of how a great movie is not made by star power or cgi effects, but by a solid premise and splendid execution.

_Mail Order Wife_ is a movie about Andrew, a young and arrogant filmmaker, who decides he'd like to make a documentary about Adrian, an NYC boy who has decided to order himself a mail order bride. An immediate problem is presented when Andrew helps pay for Lichi, the Burmese woman, and brings up a classic dilemma about moviemaking also addressed in great films like _Man Bits Dog_--Andrew is already showing signs of getting involved with his subject matter a little too subjectively. This is reinforced after Lichi arrives and Adrian turns out to be much less than an ideal husband, and Andrew decides that he needs to rescue this woman from an awful situation.

This may sound like the premise of a light, romantic comedy, or a hackneyed Lifetime made-for-TV, but what I revealed so far is only the first 30 minutes of this 90-minute film, because things don't move along so easily, and that's because these characters aren't easily categorizable, which is also a sign of strong filmmaking. Andrew has his own problems, with an inordinate sense of 'normalcy' and an arrogance streak that leaves him, in his own mind, justified in everything he does. Adrian, though a twisted man, is somehow charmingly simple. And Lichi isn't simply a quiet, victimized Asian girl, but one who has her own ulterior motives.
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Format: DVD
If you are thinking that Mail Order Wife is another one of those zany comedies, you would be wrong. Put it back on the shelf and rent something else.

If however you like movies that make you think, and that work with you on many levels, then you may enjoy this indie sleeper.

When you break it down, Mail Order Wife is the story of three lonely people. All losers in some way whether by life, circumstance or simply character.

Adrian, the sad sack New York doorman, orders a mail order bride with the help of Andrew, a documentary film maker. When Lichi arrives she is quickly exploited first by Adrian, then by Andrew. Lichi who at first is vulnerable, quickly becomes and exploiter as well, though she may be forgiven given her circumstances.

This is a film where everyone is using everyone else, yet all seem oblivious to the fact of what they are doing.

What I did like about the movie is that you are never quite sure where it is going, and as it moved toward the climax I had no clue how it would end.

It is the morning after, and I am still thinking about this film.

Although the characters are not necessarily likeable,and their motivations are definitely not pure, any film that makes you think is a winner in my book.

Cheers!
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Format: DVD
I picked this up in the previously viewed DVD rack at my local Blockbuster store. I don't really know what motivated me to buy it because to be quite frank I assumed it would be awful. But, to my amazement, it was quite the opposite!

This very quirkly, completely original work is full of unexpected twists and turns, sometimes bordering on unbearably offensive and other times hysterically funny. The storyline is so audacious that I often found my mouth hanging open in disbelief. I was totally engaged by the story and the offbeat characters, and I too thought I was watching a documentary until the closing credits revealed that it was a totally fictional experience.

I won't go into the plot of this offbeat wonder, but I will say that I highly recommend it. It will stay with you long after it's over.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This independent story is a massively masterful piece of work. If you only watch the first half hour or so, you won't get it. But, if you are a serious movie watcher and see the whole thing - you'll have to say "Oh my!", and DO NOT EVER TELL THE ENDING...This is such an outrageous movie, I had to get a few for my friends. They, too, were outraged, but were able to watch it all the way through, and were ready to watch it again...I just can't explain it any better than that. You have to see it (the WHOLE story) to believe it.
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Format: DVD
Unlike most viewers, I have had some personal experience with this subject, so I knew right off the bat that it wasn't the real documentary it tries to sell itself as. I didn't order my wife from a catalog, and we lived together for several years in her country before moving to the US to get married, but I know for a fact it isn't nearly that easy to bring a fiancé over from Asia! The interviews, proof of real relationship, endless forms and background checks...it takes a lot of time and a lot of money, and isn't the casual thing portrayed here!

So after seriously suspending my disbelief at the unrealistic premise, I enjoyed "Mail Order Wife" much more than I was expecting to. In fact, everything about it was not what I was expecting. Even knowing the nature of the film, it manages to keep you on your toes, give you that uncomfortable feeling of not knowing if you are supposed to laugh or be outraged, and then hitting you with scenes so funny you have to stop the DVD because you are laughing so hard.

The first portion of the film plays it totally straight. A tubby and lonely doorman, Adrian, orders a wife, Lichi (brilliantly played by Eugenia Yuan, star of The Eye 2), from a catalog. The whole process is paid for by Andrew, a documentary film maker who gets a little too involved in the subjects. Adrian treats Lichi like a maid and a porn star, and she finally escapes and runs to the rescue of Andrew. Things seem to be going well, but Andrew is not the nice guy that he seems, nor is Lichi content to be the subservient housewife. At this point, the whole story takes a turn to the ridiculous, and any trickery about this being a real documentary goes out the window.
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