Saving Face: In this romantic comedy, a young Chinese-American lesbian struggles between following her heart and fulfilling the expectations of her very traditional Chinese family.
Country: USA, 2004
Original Language: English and Mandarin Chinese
Zavi thinks: This is possibly my favorite lesbian movie ever. A lot of queer romantic films fall flat in exploring the motives and desires behind the lead character’s love, but in “Saving Face,” the clashes between both generations and different cultures are explored in considerable depth. The “squee factor” for me is quite high in this movie. From the perspective of a student, I love that the characters speak clear, understandable Mandarin (meaning I can claim that watching this movie is “language practice”). Also, from the perspective of a person from a very “traditional” family, I really enjoy that this film explores the tension between parents truly wanting the best for their children and children truly not wanting the same thing as the parents’ expectation. This movie would be great for either a group night or a cute date.
Panda thinks: I love a lot of things about this movie. The most basic is that this is a film made by people who love good film-making/storytelling. Case and point–the borrowed scene from “The Graduate” displayed on the film’s poster. But this is also expressed in a million other minute details that just make the film pop off screen. I really enjoy the juxtaposition between the issues of the mother and the daughter and their simultaneous struggle for acceptance, while refusing to grant it in return. This is also one of the funnier queer films I’ve ever seen. Do yourself a favor and add this to your DVD collection as soon as possible.