Cinema seems to be the great vehicle to the endless diversity co-existing in this world. It shows us different cultures that we’re not comfortable with and yet once represented in the screen gives us some strange tolerance. ‘Saving Face’ takes a simple story, those we are just open to have some fun but through that fun creates an understandable and meaningful plot. This one represents the Chinese culture, with its mannerisms and beliefs in a very ‘light’ and pleasant way.
Set in Manhattan, a succeeded Chinese-American surgeon Wil is surprised by her mother’s arrival, a 48 years old widow. Ma was banished from Queens where her father discovered that she was pregnant. Her presence affects the personal life of Wil, who is in love with the dancer Vivian which later Wil finds she’s the daughter of her boss. Once her grandfather has promised that her mother would only return to Queens whether remarried or proving that it was an immaculate conception, Wil tries to find a Chinese bachelor to marry her mother.
What makes this film so pleasant and easy to like, beyond its light approach to its different themes, is that it tells us that no matter how different our cultures are we have and always will have many things in common, especially in the emotions we share. It is as simple as that. If someone dies we are in grief. If we begin a relationship it will never be easy. People gossip whether they are Chinese or French. We still have flaws, but maybe we cannot show it in the same way or in the same actions because we all live under different grounds and rules, whether we born in New York or in Berlin. That’s what I like about ‘Saving Face’ and that’s what makes the film so interesting. This film’s simplicity in its different shots and in people’s kindness and sympathy, especially in Wil’s, it is driven by very funny moments and hilarious dialogues.
This is also a homosexual story. At this aspect there are typical or at least as I should refer - homosexual moments used properly and wittingly. One of the things that make this film particularly especial is the approach to this couple. It’s very honest and warm, from the first eye contact to the flirting and continuous chemistry. Vivian’s sensuality opposed to Wil’s shyness and modesty and her reluctance to any public connection with her girlfriend. The ultimate step for someone like Wil is when Vivian asks her – “Kiss me. Now. In front of all this people.”
It was a very surprising film and I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.