Saturday, July 25, 2009

Dim Sum Funeral

I know that the movie name suggests either a downer drama or a funny comedy, but since I needed an escape moment I decided to give it a try. Well, it’s not a comedy even if you can smile once or twice. This Anna Chi film is a drama about another dysfunctional American-Chinese family more similar to Red Doors than to Saving Face and as happens in Red Doors this family also has a lesbian daughter, which was a total surprise for me as I was unaware of the lesbian interest in this movie.

The film tells a rather complex story about the Xiao family and starts when the Jewish housekeeper (Talia Shire) informs the offspring’s about the passing of their mother. None of the children and their spouses have good memories of her and they dislike one another, but all come to the funeral to find that her mother requested a traditional Chinese ceremony for the departed that requires them to spend together 7 days. What you will see in this movie is four adult siblings that are more American than Chinese (three of them speak only English) coming to terms with their mother death and trying to mend their own life troubles, the relationships with their spouses and with each other.

There is a great twist that somehow you imagine soon enough, but I can say that as you get caught in all the difficult situations the siblings are living you dismiss it to the back of your head and well, the surprise is not so big when finally happens.

Have to say that I liked the story that allows viewers to get a glimpse of the struggle that some first generation children of immigrants have to overcome when they adapt to a new culture, live their lives as part of the new culture and know very little about their forefathers culture and their strong traditions. I believe this is the essence of the story and the true value of this film that has a very happy ending after following a lot of incidents that in the screen are not really dramatic as the story evolves with “regular” situations and the essence runs in the backdrop and is left to the viewer to understand.

Tech specs and acting are acceptable and do not bother much if you get caught with the story like I did. I didn’t particularly liked the lesbian interest content in the movie, but have to say that the only couple that since the very beginning until the end was a happy couple is exactly the lesbian couple. Meimei and Deedee really had no chemistry in the screen, but their story is quite positive as the youngest daughter and her partner living a regular happy life. Still, this is not a movie to watch only for the lesbian interest as surely you will be, if not disappointed, left questioning what was the point of having lesbian characters in the story.

Now that I’m writing about the movie I realized how complex the story is and had a little trouble telling you about the story without giving out too much. But the film is quite easy to watch (not a downer or depressing drama at all) and you always have the choice to watch the film with only what’s happening in the screen and not pay much attention to the essence told in the background.

I liked the movie a lot more than Red Doors and even if I can’t find a relationship I’ll mention that some viewers relate the film to the Joy Club; so if you liked any of these two films then surely you will enjoy this one.


Watch trailer @ Movie On Companion

No comments yet