The People I’ve Slept With (2009)
Karin Anna Cheung, Wilson Cruz, Archie Kao, Lynn Chen, James Shigeta, Randall Park. Directed by Quentin Lee.
Angela (Karin Anna Cheung) is a single woman in her late twenties, an unapologetic lover of sex who says, “a slut is just a woman with a man’s morals.” She rejects the traditional get-married-have-kids-be-successful model of happiness her older sister Juliet (Lynn Chen) has embraced, happy with her retail job in the daytime and casual hookups at night.
When she discovers she’s pregnant, she’s confronted with a few situations in need of being worked out, not the least of which is figuring out who the father is. With the encouragement and assistance of her best friend Gabriel (Wilson Cruz), Angela works through her issues, aided also by the collection of photos she’s amassed of all her romantic partners (cutely labeled with nicknames, measurements of length and girth, and occupations).
Cheung, in case you’ve forgotten, was the female lead in Better Luck Tomorrow, a mile-marker of sorts in Asian American film. She was outstanding in that film, and is quite good in this one, especially in scenes where she delivers lines by herself. There are a few scenes that feel under-rehearsed, as if the actors are still getting to know each other and their characters’ relationships. The timing feels off in these few scenes, and the actors’ deliveries present as if they’re waiting for their turns, rather than listening to what’s being said to them before they speak. They give the film a kind of rushed feeling, despite otherwise strong performances all around.
It’s a fun movie with well-conceived characters, touching on several issues young adults of any American ethnicity confront in some way, with a few plot situations you’ve probably never seen.