An Asian Pacific American female in directing, producing, writing, and leading roles for one movie?

Whoa. I didn’t believe it until I saw it myself.

According to Apple Trailers, East Broadway (or Falling for Grace) is a romantic comedy of errors premised upon a hilarious misunderstanding at an opera soirée. There, some Manhattan socialites mistakenly believe that Grace Tang is an heiress of a major Hong Kong fashion industry (she’s actually a major Wall Street banker). She doesn’t actually correct the mistake, and instead goes on to meet, date, and (maybe) love New York’s most eligible (rich, white) bachelor.

Margaret Cho and Ken Leung (Lost fans, anyone?) feature as supporting characters, which has absolutely no way of going wrong. My favorite moment in the entire trailer is when Christine Baranski’s character asks the male lead if Grace Tang only wants him “for [his] green card” and if she is “unusually willing to perform bizarre sexual favors”. Anybody remember Cruel Intentions? She played an equally racist mother who cracks down on an interracial relationship between her daughter (Selma Blair) and her African American cello instructor (Sean Patrick Thomas).

In some ways, this story might look, read, and sound like a cleaned-up cosmopolitan version of The Joy Luck Club (the ignorant mother comments are uncomfortably familiar), which I don’t love and probably never will. However, Fay Ann Lee takes some classic Asian American problems in a world of race-class-immigrant-identity confusion and strings them into a contemporary, relevant storyline. It actually looks good enough that I want to see it on opening night (April 15). Also, that she, an APA female, spearheaded the entire project is so admirable; I support her on the basis of that fact alone.

Lee has previously starred in Law & Order and Third Watch, but this is her first writing, producing, and directing debut.


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