Christine Yoo's film is a hilarious, heartwarming romantic comedy about a Korean American ad exec facing increasing family pressure to marry (or die, according to family superstition).
Hyphen recently reviewed this briefly while at AAIFF, so I won't rehash too much of the basic story. The cast stars Brian Tee (Tokyo Drift) and actress Kang Hye Jung (Oldboy), as well as some well known comedians including Margaret Cho, Bobby Lee, and Stephen Park -- all of whom were extremely funny with their own unique, recognisable brands of humor. I'd put this film right up there with other past crowd favorites at festivals like Saving Face or Ping Pong Playa.
Yoo introduces Korean marriage culture to the American audience in an endearing way, as well as casts a light on issues some or many Asian American individuals can relate to personally, regarding family marital pressure, extended families who overamplify flaws or seek perfection in a potential new family member, as well as overcoming parental disapproval, and ultimately making choices for oneself as an adult.
Christine Yoo was present after the screening for Q&A, and I was impressed to learn she made the film through no studio financing. It took her a decade to get this film done, through dogged determination as well as financial support largely from family, friends, and supportive individuals and groups in Los Angeles and South Korea. She noted that in seven years as a writer in Hollywood, she was unable to get much acceptance in terms of getting the stories or characters included that she cared about. She noted that it was up to Asian Americans to create their own stories and characters independently, as well as for Asian Americans to demand to see these types of stories (as well as to go out and support them).
That's right, you've heard it from us before, folks, and you'll hear it from us again. So if you're on the East Coast, Christine Yoo is at MIT tonight and the movie is screening at Wellesley on Saturday night.
There are also several other films playing at the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival (PAAFF), including features such as Saigon Electric, Suite Suite Chinatown, The Girl from the Naked Eye, and Almost Perfect. Their full schedule for the rest of the festival can be found here.
The previous issue of Hyphen is available in its entirety for your perusing pleasure. Almost as good as having it right in your hands!