In America, when you watch an ethnic soap opera in which old-world parents reject their adult children’s dreams of love, it’s no secret that a lot of us can feel a twinge of nostalgia for those deeply rooted parental puritans, even though we’re aware their view of relationships is all wrong. Saving Face, a pleasant if sketchy Chinese-American family drama, is a study in multigenerational guilt-tripping. Wilhelmina (Michelle Krusiec), a rising young surgeon, prefers women to men, but her mother (Joan Chen) would disown her if she knew. Mom, however, is every bit as scandalous: At 48, she gets pregnant without a husband, and her parents, who are stern survivors of the Cultural Revolution, are aghast. The writer-director, Alice Wu, fudges a lot of the basics — I never believed the heroine was really a physician — but the final, proudly public girl-on-girl smooch still jerks a tear.
(Lynn Chen: Larry Riley)
Genre: Drama, Comedy; Starring: Joan Chen, Michelle Krusiek, Jessica Hecht; Director: Alice Wu; Author: Alice Wu; Runtime (in minutes): 90; MPAA Rating: R; Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Posted May 25 2005 — 12:00 AM EDT
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