Director Wayne Wang and screenwriter Ronald Bass effectively interweave sixteen mother-daughter tales in their silken film version of Amy Tan's best-selling novel about the clash between generations. The film takes place in present-day San Francisco, concentrating on a group of late-middle-aged Chinese women. Ever since arriving in the United ...
Director Wayne Wang and screenwriter Ronald Bass effectively interweave sixteen mother-daughter tales in their silken film version of Amy Tan's best-selling novel about the clash between generations. The film takes place in present-day San Francisco, concentrating on a group of late-middle-aged Chinese women. Ever since arriving in the United States after World War II, the women have gathered weekly to play mah-jongg and to tell stories, regaling each other with tales of their children and grandchildren, giving each other a sense of hope and renewal in the midst of poverty and hardship. The Joy Luck Club is made up of four women -- Suyuan (Kieu Chinh), Lindo (Tsai Chin), Ying Ying (France Nuyen), and An Mei (Lisa Lu). But when Suyuan dies, the three surviving members invite Suyuan's daughter June (Ming-Na Wen) to take her place. Along with the daughters of the other members -- Waverly (Tamlyn Tomita), Lena (Lauren Tom), and Rose (Rosalind Chao) -- June is a Chinese-American with only a passing interest in her rich cultural heritage. But through vignettes that switch back and forth in time, the daughters begin to appreciate the struggles of their mothers to start their families in the optimistic promise of the United States. Paul Brenner, Rovi
Tsai Chin, Kieu Chinh, Lisa Lu, France Nuyen, Rosalind Chao, Tamlyn Tomita. Fine in fine packaging. Language: English. Run time: 135 mins. Originally released: 1993. 139 minutes. Unsure of release date. Used with care. Not sure if rental or not, but doesn't have usual stickers on tape or slip case. Still looks great and plays fine. After the successful independent features about Chinese-American life DIM SUM and EAT A BOWL OF TEA, director Wayne Wang took on the daunting task of adapting Amy Tan s sprawling, multigenerational best-seller THE JOY LUCK CLUB. After her mother s death, June (Ming-Na Wen) is asked to take her place in a mahjong club. The three other members, like her mother, were all born in China before the 1949 revolution. When June learns that she has two half sisters in China, she plans a trip to meet them. With this catalyst, the women begin to tell stories, not just about but their own mothers and their lives in China, but also about their often strained relationships with their Americanized daughters. The flashbacks to China are dramatic, and the stories are heartbreaking. As the film progresses, June learns about a culture that s supposedly her own but that she can touch only through the commonality of the mother-daughter bond. It is this nexus that makes the movie work. There are multiple points of view, but they are always connected by the universal desire for one generation of women to pass on their hopes for a better life to their daughters. This feeling, without being cloying or overly sentimental, underlines the emotional tales in this moving, well-acted, and beautifully staged drama.