The Farewell

[4.0 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

Mrs. Salad read the synopsis, and said "I don't want to watch that." She's averse to "grandma's dying" movies. So I was relegated to watching this at my downstairs desk.

Then she asked from upstairs: "What are you laughing at?" Honest, honey: it's IMDB-billed as "Comedy, Drama". And there are some funny bits.

A Chinese matriarch gets tested for some respiratory problems, and in a development that I'm pretty sure couldn't happen in the USA, the doctors do not tell her the gloomy prognosis. Instead, the family finds out, and they decide to not tell her. But they want to get the family together one last time for her, so they arrange for a wedding for some hapless kid. Enter Billi (played by the wonderful Awkwafina), mostly American, and she's aghast at the deception. She can't really afford to go to China, but she does anyway. But will she spill the beans? Over the next few days, she's torn. And she has secrets of her own.

It's a good movie for looking at cultural differences and similarities. Apparently a universal attribute of families is to realize that scrupulous truth-telling isn't always the best recipe for family harmony. Of course, as here, sometimes things get a little out of control.