By Wayne Chan, AsAmNews Humorist
Sunday night was a big night for Asians everywhere at the Oscars. You could say that it was a big night for Everything Everywhere All at Once.
Not only did that film win the night’s biggest honor, but Ke Huy Quan won for best supporting actor and Michelle Yeoh won for best actress, both for the same film.
All sorts of barriers were broken last night. What the film Crazy Rich Asians did to break down stereotypes of Asians a few years ago, Everything Everywhere All at Once seemed to ignore that there were ever any stereotypes to begin with.
Asian American culture now has its moment, and it seems to me that we all need to contribute to keep this movement moving forward. In my own small way, I’d like to do my part.
Therefore, as a writer, I would like to make some suggestions to any future screenwriters out there who would like to write the next Oscar-worthy Asian-theme screen play.
Here are my suggestions.
1. Although Everything Everywhere All at Once has some martial arts scenes in it, its main focus was not on martial arts. So, from now on, some martial arts is fine if you really must, but try to keep it to a minimum. A particular pet peeve – if your hero must get into a fight, try to avoid the bit where he happens to find a seemingly ordinary prop sitting around like a broom or a fanny pack and miraculously turns it into the world’s most deadly weapon.
2. No more stories where the protagonist is on some kind of life-threatening mission to defend their parent’s honor. We get it – he loves his parents. That doesn’t mean he always has to risk his life to prove it. Maybe have him take them out for dinner instead.
3. If there are any scenes where the hero is sharing his concerns with his grandparents, they can be wise and earnest, but avoid at all costs having every other sentence coming out of their mouths seem like they just memorized an entire edition of “Confucianism for Dummies”.
4. The hero’s family may not own a family-owned restaurant. Sorry, there’s no negotiating that one.
5. If the screenplay is a superhero who happens to be Asian (please reread #1 above as a reminder), his alter ego, meaning, his regular life when he’s not doing superhero things, may not be an engineer, genetic scientist, or accountant. Acceptable alter egos are: construction worker, airline pilot, beauty pageant host, or lion tamer.
Having said all that, I’m currently researching a real-life story of my father who went on a trek to defend his father’s honor and among the many occupations he had in his lifetime was being an electrical engineer, and he owned a Chinese restaurant as well as a laundry.
I guess I just need to chalk this up to one of those “Do as I say, not as I do” type of things.
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