Movie Review: The Joy Luck Club

I don't know about you but there are certain movies that I will watch that I am 100% sure will make me cry. For example I know that if I watch Return of the Jedi (laugh it up.....fuzzball) I will cry especially if I've just had a Star Wars marathon (and no not because I'm crying of happiness because it's over). There's just something about Anakin's children reedeeming him from the dark side that's so compelling. I'll go into my Star Wars mania in some other post. Back to the subject on hand.

About once a year, my mother and my 2 sisters and I will sit down and watch The Joy Luck Club together. This movie is based on the wonderful novel by Amy Tan. It tells the stories of 4 women who immigrated to the US from China and also the stories of their American born daughters. This movie has particulary a strong force in my family as both of my parents are immigrants and my mother especially is Chinese. Therefore whenever we watch this movie, it's like watching a part of us.

My favorite scene in the movie is the scene with Waverly bringing home her boyfriend to meet the family and how the cultures clash. We made our boyfriends (who are all white) watch that scene especially so they know how to act. Luckily for us my mother is not as strict as the mothers are in the movie. The scenes that always make us cry are the scenes with Waverly and her mom and June and her mom. I don't know if most kids go through the same experiences as they did but for us, it was like someone had put a camera in our living room and taped us. From the conversation of dying hair to the dress young June wears while playing the piano, those scenes are straight out of our lives and therefore very touching and personal.

I know that many people have seen this movie and liked it but there are others who say they don't like it because they don't understand why the characters acted or did things the way they did. The first few times I watched it, I myself didn't and had to have my mother explain the Chinese customs. Therefore I definately recommmend watching this movie with someone who is familiar with the Chinese culture to help you fully enjoy the movie.

And yes this is definately a chick flick. It is also great to see a movie that actually uses Asian actresses, GOOD ones too. I always associate Ming-Na with this movie even though she's been in ER and of course is Mulan! And Lauren Tom was on Friends as Julie.

This movie is very typical of Asian American families espcially if you are the first born of immigrants. Recommended for all mothers and daughters to watch. Bring tissues. Lots.


  1. I like this movie too! I especially liked the scene in the rain when she says how she died, right after hearing about her grandmother's sacrificial death.

    Even though I'm Japanese (and 4th generation American at that), I have many Chinese friends and my husband is Chinese. Also, a lot of the ethics and relationships are similar to Japanese. My mother really loved this movie--felt like it really spoke to her.



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