Phil Yu (Angry Asian Man) On Storytelling and Asian Americans
“A lot of the movie itself feels homegrown and organic and it comes from an Asian American community that we know and are familiar with. I grew up in Cupertino and Sunnyvale and worked in SF for several years. The Bay Area is a hub for Asian American community. The film feels firmly planted in the Asian American community here – little details here – the world building happening, these feel like characters that we know in real life. The characters themselves have a general sense of familiarity, originality and exist within a genre that we know very well. We can see the basic bones of the romantic comedy.
::The film tackles all these things – it doesn’t set out on a mission to break stereotypes, doesn’t try to be defiant and still many facets of the Asian American community that haven’t been committed before to film show up here. So when you see Marcus’ dad – I’ve never seen an Asian parent like that on screen before – and yet I know that person, I know that character. You realize what you haven’t been seeing.”
What Phil here is talking about also applies to other groundbreakers like CRAZY RICH ASIANS and SIS Productions‘ SEX IN SEATTLE series. Romantic comedies grounded in Asian American reality seems to be the entry point for the wider world to get to know Asian Americans as non-stereotyped characters.