Now here's an unconventional family for the new decade: two Vietnamese siblings are brought up in California by a black couple; sister Mai marries an Asian, and brother Dwayne's getting engaged to an African-American woman (Love and Basketball's Sanaa Lathan). While this is juicy enough, first time writer/director/actor Chi Moui Lo throws some real spice into his comedy-drama mix: Mai (The Joy Luck Club's Lauren Tom) has found her Vietnamese birth mother, and is bringing her to the States.
Lo, who plays Dwayne, uses these circumstances to attempt an original look at families and their identities, but his basic concepts are better than their execution. The effort is certainly worth noticing -- his script is an impressive debut, trying to flesh out nine closely-knit characters -- but some stale and predictable presentation drags down a strong idea.
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