Review: Yes, We’re Open

Yes, We’re Open (2012)
Lynn Chen, Parry Shen, Sheetal Sheth. Directed by Richard Wong.

yesweA yuppie couple, slightly bored with its sex life, considers the possibilities of an open relationship. The man and woman think of themselves as modern and unrestricted, but despite the urging of another couple for them to give it a try, the pitfalls seem prohibitive, among them their simply not being sure what they want.

I am an avid admirer of Lynn Chen, whom I loved in White on Rice and The People I’ve Slept With, and whose social media content I find entertaining and interesting. She has a screen presence that reminds me of the smart, pretty women I encounter every day, a kind of graceful but uncomplicated confidence that’s easy to get along with. For this reason, her character is the least annoying of the four central characters in this movie. Where the others are smart and unbearably obnoxious, she is smart but only mildly obnoxious. Her character’s partner is the kind of guy who turns a wedding toast into a political diatribe lacking any social awareness, and the fact that she loves him is a condemnation against her.

yes_were_open (6)I hate to say this because his performance seems sincere, but Parry Shen, who plays Chen’s lover, is a weak link among pretty good actors. Almost every scene he’s in feels slightly off, like maybe he was the understudy who had to stop in at the last minute and can focus either on blocking or on lines, but not both at the same time. And boy, is his character unlikeable.

This is the problem with this movie as whole: its characters are just impossible to like, and not even my admiration of Lynn Chen is strong enough to keep me from counting the minutes until the movie’s conclusion. I didn’t want to spend a minute more than necessary with these people, and when one of them flat-out tells another that nobody can stand him, it’s actually true of everyone else in the film, including the person leveling the accusation.

Really not recommended unless you’re a Lynn Chen fan, in which case it’s sort of required viewing.


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