Young Asians Get the Most of “Shortcomings” in Sundance Dramedy

Adapted by Adrian Tomine from his own graphic novel and directed by first-time filmmaker Randall Park, the Sundance comedy-drama Shortcomings (B+) is an enjoyable contemporary take on being a young Asian-American male in American society. The story’s moody protagonist, an underemployed movie theatre manager and lousy boyfriend, is winningly played by Justin H. Min. His lesbian best friend portrayed by Sherry Cola is an absolute hoot and always knows just what to say. Ally Maki is also memorable as the hero’s polar opposite; the whole ensemble enjoys time in the spotlight. The cross-country, cross-cultural story transports viewers from Berkeley to New York City with wryly observant misadventures. Park plumbs heritage and hot takes for a film that feels like it’s not trying all that hard and yet still it says so much about its subjects. It’s genuinely funny and also moving at times. Expect this one to be a cult hit, a kind of Reality Bites for modern times.

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