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By Stina Chyn | April 1, 2005

Riley Chu (Eddie Mui) is an actor without a love. Matilda Wong (Keiko Agena, who plays Lane Kim on the WB show ‘Gilmore Girls’) is a journalist-playwright without a love. When Cynthia Liu’s film “Red Thread” begins, Riley and Matilda are strangers but they have something in common: their mothers are firm believers in blind dates. Matilda is against match-making because she thinks it’s old-fashioned. Riley cringes at the idea of his mother setting him up with someone because she always finds a “nice Chinese girl” who usually isn’t so nice, cultured or intelligent.

“Red Thread” is just like any other romantic comedy in that the protagonists are looking for love and finally find it after they’ve done some growing. But, the film also addresses Asian dating stereotypes as perceived by Asians themselves. For instance, Riley explains to his friend Benito (Teddy Chen Culver) that in his experience most if not all nice Chinese girls are only concerned with what kind of car a guy drives and the size of his bank account. Riley also has a personal preference for a girl who is up to date on the news and can discuss foreign films, but this type of girl doesn’t seem to exist.

Liu’s film could’ve been about dispelling these misconceptions between Asian men and women in reference to relationships, but “Red Thread” isn’t that kind of film. There might be serious issues discussed in Liu’s directorial debut, but the film’s overall tone is light and comical. You’ll burst out in laughter several times while watching the film, especially when Riley is in one of his disguises. There are also these moments that are inexplicably charming. For example, the first time you see Riley he walks out of the door of his apartment building and he’s holding a box of empty water bottles. He stumbles, falls forward and the recyclable goods fly through the air in slow motion, making a clinking-pinging sound when they hit the ground.

“Red Thread” is less of a social commentary and more of a critique on being human. It’s about why finding Mr. or Mrs. Right is no easy task. You can’t be lucky in love if you can’t be yourself.

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