Our Rating: ★★☆☆☆
L Factor: Major lesbian character
Short Take: Three very different women of Chinese heritage are living in New York City and become unlikely friends. One is a closeted lesbian.
Alternate Titles: Ren zai Niu Yue
Year: 1990
Duration: 88 min
Language: Hong Kong, USA/Chinese
MPAA: Not Rated
Director: Stanley Kwan
Writer: Tai An-Ping Chiu, Acheng Zhong
Starring: Sylvia Chang, Maggie Cheung, I-Chen Ko, Josephine Koo, John Reidy, Gaowa Siqin, Luke Valerio

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+Alt Tags+Three very different women of Chinese heritage are living in New York City and become unlikely friends. Wang (Sylvia Chang, Tempting Heart) is an actress from Taiwan, stuck playing the worst of roles and not given a chance for major parts because she is Asian. She’s also unlucky choosing the right man.

Zhaohong (Gaowa Siqin) is a recent immigrant from Mainland China, struggling to deal with a very Americanized husband and in-laws and not allowed to bring her mother to live with them.

And then there’s Jiau (Maggie Cheung, Dragon Inn), a businesswoman from Hong Kong who buys and sells stocks and real estate as well as helping her father in his Chinese restaurant. She is very confident in the business world, but her father and older friends insist on trying to fix her up with men to get her married off. Jiau also has a girlfriend, Stella (Josephine Koo), and she is known to be a lesbian. She fights it though, trying not to see Stella in public.

It’s a female bonding movie, each woman very lonely and coming together to drink when the rest of their lives are quite dissatisfying. Unfortunately, it’s a real misery fest. They cave in to husbands and fathers. Jiau in particular tries to have sex with a man to somehow prove she is heterosexual, even though the man will have none of it. She tearfully tells Stella that they will just have to be friends. No female empowerment here. Just depression and coping. (AB)