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Saving Face (2005)

Saving Face



Comedy, Drama, Romance

Release Date

May 27, 2005

MPAA Rating



91 min.


Sony Pictures Classics

Official Site

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REVIEWS RATE:  Critics  Go! Watch this movie. You'll regret if not seeing it.    Readers  5 of 5 [Rate It]

Cast and Crew


Alice Wu


James Lassiter, Will Smith, Teddy Zee


Alice Wu


  • Michelle Krusiec
  • Richard Chang
  • Joan Chen
  • Lynn Chen
  • Ato Essandoh
  • Jessica Hecht
  • Brittany Perrineau
  • Brian Yang


For 28-year old New Yorker Wilhelmina "Wil" Pang (Michelle Krusiec), life is a juggling act between a promising career as a surgeon and her responsibilities as a dutiful daughter. Like the #7 train she takes to visit her Chinese family on a weekly basis, Wil is perpetually in transit between two worlds. The expectations of the Flushing, Queens society she is from and the desires that alienate her from it have made Wil content to live below the surface -- even if it means playing an inadvertent game of charades with her widowed mother (Joan Chen) and the old world Ma represents. The masquerade is comic even in its pain as Wil tolerates Ma's weekly set ups with eligible Chinese-American boys at the Friday Chinese socials; but it quickly becomes a farce when Ma's mask cracks first.

One night, Wil comes home to find Ma on her doorstep - pregnant. Disgraced by the Chinese community, and with nowhere else to go, Ma moves in with her daughter, making it difficult for Wil to nurture a budding relationship with gorgeous dancer Vivian (Lynn Chen). As her carefully compartmentalized worlds collide, Wil is forced to find her mother a husband, placate her girlfriend, and choose between breaking a cycle of keeping up appearances, or risk losing the girl she loves.

"Saving Face" is a romantic comedy about a daughter struggling to understand her mother's heart, which ultimately allows her to understand her own. It is the story of unspoken loves, contemporary and cultural taboos, and the journey of two women towards living their lives honestly.


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Reader's Reviews

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“..a sharp, quirky, tightly written romantic comedy that should please even the stingiest cynics..”
by Jeff Wilser [Latino Review]
“..this is a film that has been done more than once, and often much better..”
by Dylan Grant [MovieFreak.com]
“..a profound and pithy social commentary about staying true to one's embattled existence...”
by Frank Ochieng [MovieEye.com]