Double Encore for SAVING FACE
It's Never Too Late to fall in Love for the First Time"
First time director, Alice Wu, turns her love letter to her mother into the charmingly romantic comedy SAVING FACE. A film about a mother coming to terms with her daughter being a lesbian. Wait ... scratch that ... it's a film about a mother and daughter learning to fall in love and be in love.
Wilemina Pang (Michelle Krusiec), doesn't talk about her love life with her mother (Joan Chen). But when she falls in love with Vivian (Lynn Chen), her mother unexpectedly moves in after being ousted from the house by her grandfather when they find out she's pregnant.
Things tend to go awry from this point on ...
Refusing to release the identity of the baby's father, Ma (J. Chen) decides to find a suitable father for the unborn child. Wil, on the other hand, has trouble being outwardly expressive of her affection to Vivian. The leers from the tight knit community are too much for her to handle and she certainly can't talk about this to Ma who doesn't even want to acknowledge her daughter is a lesbian.
You know, after writing that, it really doesn't serve the film any justice, because it's whimsically charming and very very funny. Yes, see right here, it's listed as a romantic-comedy.
For me, it was such a pleasure to watch Joan Chen, who normally plays a tragic opium addict like in the Last Emperor, do something rather zany and comedic. Michelle Krusiec, who has been seen in numerous films as that Asian girl, gets to really stretch and show off her skills.
SAVING FACE made its World Premiere at the 2004 Toronto International Film Festival and was treated to a Gala presentation during this past month's Inside Out, Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. It was released by Sony Picture Classics in the States last month and grossed $16,513 per screen it's opening weekend. It has gone on to gross over $400,000 US so far. I'm sure having Will Smith as an executive producer on this film doesn't hurt either.
Canada's Mongrol Media releases the film this Friday on Canada Day. I suggest you cool down in a theatre where this is playing.
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