I was fortunate to see the World premier at the Toronto Film Festival. It was an almost finished product with only some minor changes still needing to be done (mostly tweaking the temporary score and sound) but I didn’t notice that it wasn’t a finished product. Saving Face is a funny film by written and directed by first time director: Alice Wu. It is about a widow Coan Chen) who is in her late-40’s and has a daughter who is a surgeon.

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She tries to set up her daughter at these Chinese dances that appen once a week but the daughter is not interested. One day the woman shows up on the daughter’s doorstep, kicked out of her home because she has brought shame to the family by becoming pregnant out of wedlock. The mother and daughter have to adjust while the daughter tries to hide her lesbian relationship with her boss’s daughter. I liked this film. Joan Chen was very funny in this film.

The comedy is good, a nice light touch and on a level everyone can relate too. Although, the fact they are Chinese is not glossed over. The dramatic scenes were weaker in contrast to the comedy but still worked. The three main actresses were good although Joan Chen was the star. If you liked What’s Cooking or Mambo Italiano or My Big Fat Greek Wedding, then I think you will like this movie. I am Asian but not Chinese so I do have my biases.

Having said that, I think that this film will help break the typical Asian tereotype and will be a mainstream success. Apparently Sony pictures has bought the distribution rights so I expect to see it in theatre some time next year. I give it an 8/10. Definitely worth a look if you want a nice light comedy with a little drama. Note the film is half in Mandarin and half in English but there are English subtitles. I will definitely see it again when it comes out in general release and I will buy the DVD when it comes out.

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