“UNDER ONE ROOF”–flawed sweetness

“Under One Roof”

Flawed Sweetness

Amos Lassen

“Under One Roof” is a very sweet little film which is filled with sincerity and charm. The acting may not be perfect and the writing is uneven but it does depict honest pleasures in a very sweet way. There is humor as a result of inter-ethnic and gay situations. There is a great deal of quirkiness and insight that make this film a little better than some of the usual fare that we have seen recently. It is an independent film and made on a low budget but it does show things from the point of view at the Chinese-American. In an attempt to find an answer to why this character does not come out to his parents, we find a series of complications which provide us with a fun movie to watch.

The gay characters are all played by gay actors and the sex and nudity in the film are used to contrast typical Hollywood movies that hide sexual organs and quickly show sex and intimacy so that it is both unnatural and distracting.  With gay Asians at the center of the film we get a whole new outlook on what it is like to be a stranger in America. I have read reviews that dismiss the film as a cheap imitation of Ang Lee’s classic “The Wedding Banquet” and I must disagree. This is a hard film to classify and perhaps that is why I succumbed to its boyish charm. It is a soft-core version of the classic love story of boy meets boy. Sure, technically it leaves much to be desired but the story line is so sincere that it is hard not to like the film. The problems can be overlooked in deference to the charm of the film. Here is a movie that gay Asians can identify with as well as have a laugh at the foibles of their own society. Up until “Under One Roof” we did not have gay Asians depicted as being sexy. It is no “The Wedding Banquet’ but neither does it try to be. It is not a great movie but given what there was to work with, I found it satisfying—I surely have seen worse—many times. Some of the movie is very touching and sensitive but if you are looking for a slick production, “Under One Roof” is not the movie for you.

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