Red Doors

Georgia Lee, in her feature bow, presents a lightly feminist, good-naturedly comic sketch of a Chinese-American family in crisis. But despite pic's earnestness and obvious good intentions, narrative elements fall back on overfamiliar, underdeveloped tropes. Nevertheless, upbeat pic could find sympathetic auds on the fest route and cable.

With:
With: Jacqueline Kim, Elaine Kao, Tzi Ma, Kathy Shao-Lin Lee, Mia Riverton, Freda Foh Shen, Rossif Sutherland, Jayce Bartok.

Georgia Lee, in her feature bow, presents a lightly feminist, good-naturedly comic sketch of a Chinese-American family in crisis. But despite pic’s earnestness and obvious good intentions, narrative elements, carefully set forth though they may be, fall back on overfamiliar, underdeveloped tropes. Nevertheless, upbeat pic, which snared NYNY prize at Tribeca, could find sympathetic auds on the fest route and cable.

When the family’s newly retired father (Tzi Ma) runs off to a monastery, the women of the house are forced to re-evaluate their lives. Workaholic eldest sister (Jacqueline Kim) contacts an old folk-singing flame on the eve of her marriage to her yuppie lover; baby sis (Kathy Shao-Lin Lee) escalates her somewhat inexplicable, explosive sneak attacks against the boy next door; and shy medical student Julie (Elaine Kao) comes out of the closet to take up with a sexy starlet. Tech credits are pro, but scenes rarely evolve either organically or stylistically. Except for Tzi Ma, who brings his own rhythms and comic timing to the role of the video-watching patriarch cast seems mired in exposition.

Red Doors

Production: A Blanc de Chine presentation of a Red Doors Entertainment production. (International sales: Emerging Pictures.) Produced by Jane Chen, Georgia Lee, Mia Riverton. Co-executive producers, Lowell Bryan, Austin S. Lin, Greg Nihon, Tenno Tsai, Martin Zagorsek. Co-producer, John Fiorelli. Directed, written by Georgia Lee.

Crew: Camera (color, Super16mm-to-HD), Zeus Morand; editor, Youna Kwak; music, Robert Miller. Reviewed at Tribeca Cinema, April 13, 2005. (In Tribeca Film Festival -- NYNY competition.) Running Time: 91 Minutes.

With: With: Jacqueline Kim, Elaine Kao, Tzi Ma, Kathy Shao-Lin Lee, Mia Riverton, Freda Foh Shen, Rossif Sutherland, Jayce Bartok.

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