teddy_lastname’s review published on Letterboxd:
Maybe I'm just dead inside, but I thought this movie was just barely okay. It was like watching the same exact scene unfold over and over again. And I get that it's a true story, but I honestly secretly despised that, because there's really no payoff here other than "oh gee I thought this was gonna be sad... but actually...!!"
Yeah, I don't know. The cinematography was nice, sometimes the fact that characters were cut off at the waist leaving lots of negative space, or how the camera would slowly zoom in or out from a central point of focus made me feel uncomfortable in a way I don't think was intended, almost like a horror movie or a thriller. Acting overall was solid, I thought Awkwafina was great, the grandma was great, the mom I really liked, everyone was good. I also really dug the soundtrack, and there were some genuinely heartwarming moments throughout.
But outside of those things I was kind of disappointed, there was just a lot here that didn't work for me at all. I was so excited to see this because I had been hearing good things, and the trailer made it seem like the movie would have a lot of interesting things to say. But having the entire conflict in the movie be the old "American's do THAT, but we DO THIS" trope that every American produced movie about foreign cultures does just left me feeling really not that much at all.