Saving Face

Rated 3.0

A Chinese-American doctor (Michelle Krusiec) and her widowed mother (Joan Chen) both feel cut off from their friends and neighbors—the doctor because she’s gay and nobody knows it, and the mother because she’s pregnant and everybody seems not only to know it but also to gossip about whom the father might be. Writer-director Alice Wu doesn’t give her script a dramatic arc; she sets up the premise and develops it a bit but can’t find a way to resolve it and just brings everyone back together for a sort of feel-good community hug, tying off most of the characters with coy little punch lines. But Wu has a great flair for character and dialogue, in Mandarin as well as English and often both at once. She also gets fine performances from Krusiec and Chen, and from Lynn Chen (no relation to Joan) as Krusiec’s new lover.