Under One Roof 2002
1h 16min | Romance, Comedy | 25 May 2002 (USA)
It’s Sex and the City meets The Wedding Banquet for young San Franciscan Daniel Chang, living at home with his clueless, traditional mother. Desperate for a grandchild, she’s eager to see him married and spends much of her time planning introductions to suitable Chinese girls for Daniel. But when she recruits a new lodger for the downstairs flat, Daniel finds himself falling for Robert, the hot Southern boy who’s moved to the big city. Well, Robert’s not a suitable Chinese girl – but is he gay? And does he feel the same way about Daniel? Daniel soon gets his chance to find out when the basement floods and his mother insists Daniel share his bedroom with Robert while the plumbers fix the mess downstairs…
I liked it a lot. Yes, it’s very much indie and low-budget, but the point of the movie was to show things from the Chinese-American character’s point of view, to show why the answer to “why don’t you just come out to your parents?” can be a lot more complicated than others may imagine. Worthwhile and fun and sweet.
The style and acting was meant to be naturalistic, and the emotions are kept pretty restrained. I kind of liked the way the characters were very much depicted as pretty much ordinary guys, like the ones I knew growing up. The movie avoids extremes that are so common that we don’t even think about them. There’s no big, high-drama drug problems (at one extreme) nor no guys with jet-setting (perfect but empty) lives, and the funny “best friend” characters aren’t so terribly arch. Seems pretty true to life, which forces you to concentrate on the story and message, which is pretty quiet, emotionally brave turf to tread. In that sense, it takes some risks in its simplicity.
Directors: Todd Wilson, Robin Feinberg
Writer: David Lewis
Stars: Jay Wong, James Marks, Sandra Lee
Release Date: 25 May 2002 (USA)