Anxious young immigrant Robert (Lau), newly arrived from Hong Kong, becomes a waiter at the Szechuan Inn in Queens, New York, where he gets a crash course in American culture and romance (as well as tipping). Gentle comedy works best with little details that ring true: overheard customer conversations, staff banter, the kitchen scenes. Lau's earnest, but effort feels like a series of small vignettes rather than a complete story. Still, a worthy first effort for the then 24-year-old Chan, who directed on a $250,000 budget, using his parents restaurant after hours for a set.
Koch Entertainment Distribution, 22 Harbor Park Dr., Port Washington, NY 11080, Remarks: Includes Koch Vision and Koch Lorber Films
Available on VHS
Running time 84 minutes.
Sundance 1993: Screenplay.
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