Saving Face

Rated R 2005

Wil (Michelle Krusiec) is a young resident at a New York hospital, first-generation Chinese, and gay. Her girlfriend Vivian (Lynn Chen) wants her to share the relationship with her family, but can Wil's mother and grandparents, ensconced in an all-Chinese community in Queens, handle the news? Before anyone can find out, Wil's mother (Joan Chen), 20 years a widow at the age of 48, suddenly turns out to be pregnant. She won't reveal the identity of the father, so Wil's grandfather kicks her out of the family residence. That lands her squarely at Wil's doorstep, apparently for good. Saving Face has a very sweet feel to it, a tone of wanting to prove that being open and compassionate, and allowing oneself to make mistakes, is the way of happiness. But part of the reason that it doesn't quite succeed is that these messages are so tried and true. The other part is that in the execution of these themes, Wu uses only the most conventional and uninspired means.

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