Dim Sum: A Little Bit of Heart

Director: Wayne Wang
Year Released: 1985
Rating: 1.0

The Internet Movie Database lists this as a "comedy," which makes me think I watched the wrong movie, because what I saw was dour and not even quietly amusing. A 60-something Chinese mother - not yet a U.S. citizen - lives in San Francisco with her 'Americanized' 30-year-old daughter and harps on her repeatedly to get married because she thinks she's going to die soon … and when she isn't harping, her friends are harping, and when they aren't harping, they're eating a variety of Chinese dishes (sometimes, they harp while eating). The languid pacing and ponderous camera and mournful shots (of the ocean waves, the sun set, open windows, people look out windows, people in the hospital) hint at the art-house origins of the story (Wang cribbing Ozu), but the repetitive conversations and so-so acting are purely amateur hour. In just ten years Wang would go on to make the excellent Smoke, but then again, a lot of that was Paul Auster.