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"CATFISH IN BLACK BEAN SAUCE"
(2000) (Chi Muoi Lo, Paul Winfield) (PG-13)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Mild Minor Moderate Minor Minor
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None None None Heavy
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate Mild Moderate Moderate Minor


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: A middle-aged African-American couple and their adoptive, adult Vietnamese son must cope with his sister bringing their biological mother into all of their lives.
PLOT:
Harold (PAUL WINFIELD) and Dolores Williams (MARY ALICE) are a middle-aged, African-American couple who, twenty-some years ago, adopted two orphaned Vietnamese kids. Despite their tumultuous early years, Mai (LAUREN TOM) and Dwayne (CHI MUOI LO) are now generally well-adjusted young adults, with Mai being married to Vinh (TZI MA) and Dwayne hoping to propose to his nurse girlfriend, Nina (SANAA LATHAN).

The happily family scene is disrupted, however, when Mai announces that she's located their biological mother, Thanh (KIEU CHINH), and is bringing her over to the States. While Mai is happy to have her real mother back in her life, Dolores is hurt by the woman's presence as is Dwayne who must put up with this stranger living with him and his roommate, Michael (TYLER CHRISTOPHER), who's dating Samantha (WING CHEN), a male transvestite.

With Thanh's presence putting a strain on the many relationships within the Williams clan, Dwayne must figure out his true cultural identity, whether he can accept his biological mother into his life, and how all of that affects his engagement to Nina.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Unless they're fans of someone in the cast, are Vietnamese, or are interested in films related to adoptive matters, it's not very likely.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG-13
For brief strong language and sexual content.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • CHI MUOI LO plays a young Vietnamese man who was raised in an adoptive, African-American home. When his birthmother returns into his life, he's initially quite cold to her, and his confusion about his cultural identity eventually causes him to react badly toward others in his life. He also briefly uses some strong profanity.
  • SANAA LATHAN plays his girlfriend/fiancée who tries to figure out his mood swings and get him to be nicer to his biological mother.
  • PAUL WINFIELD plays Dwayne's adoptive father, a wise African-American man.
  • MARY ALICE plays the Vietnamese kids' adoptive mother, an African-American woman who resents the sudden presence of the kids' biological mother and acts and reacts badly toward her (eventually getting into a brief fight with her).
  • KIEU CHINH plays the kids' biological mother who smokes, tries to gain some control over Dwayne's life (especially regarding his relationship with Nina) and doesn't like Dolores (eventually getting into a brief fight with her).
  • LAUREN TOM plays Dwayne's sister who finds their mother and brings her over to the States.
  • TYLER CHRISTOPHER plays Dwayne's roommate who's dating a woman who turns out to be a male transvestite, and may be gay himself.
  • WING CHEN plays an occasionally confrontational male transvestite who's dating Dwayne's roommate and smokes some.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick summary of the content found in this film that earned a PG-13 rating. Profanity consists of 1 "f" word, while various other expletives and colorful phrases are also uttered throughout the film. Some of the dialogue regards sexual matters and brief discussions of homosexuality (due to a male character being involved with a male transvestite), but none of it's graphic.

    The film deals with the positive and negative aspects of adult, adopted kids finding their biological parent, so those sensitive to such matters should take note as it creates some tense family scenes here. Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, some of which lead to the film's limited violence that includes some hitting and brief tussling.

    Meanwhile, some drinking and smoking also occur, but the film's remaining categories have little or nothing in the way of other major objectionable content. Nonetheless, should you still be concerned about the film and its appropriateness for anyone in your home who wishes to see it, you may want to take a closer look at our detailed content listings for specific examples of what occurs in the film.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • Dwayne has a bottle of champagne and flowers for Nina.
  • Dwayne has a beer next to him.
  • Michael asks Samantha if she wants another beer and she says that she does.
  • Mai's husband, Vinh, gives Dwayne a beer and we see Harold with one.
  • Michael and Dwayne have beers.
  • The Williams and their extended family members have wine with dinner.
  • Dwayne and Michael drink beer.
  • Harold and Dolores have wine with dinner.
  • Nina pours wine for herself and Dwayne, but we don't see them drink any.
  • We see Dwayne with a beer.
  • Nina has wine.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We hear Harold fart and then see him waving a tray behind his rear end.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • When Michael tells Samantha that Dwayne doesn't allow smoking in his house, Samantha belligerently replies, "And that's my problem?"
  • In a flashback, a cop is a bit too intense toward Dwayne who's just a young boy (when he has no reason to be).
  • In a flashback, two middle-aged black women talk disparagingly about Dolores having adopted young Vietnamese children (calling them "Orientals"), but then act all friendly when she comes over.
  • Dwayne is initially cold and distant to his biological mother.
  • Dolores and Thanh don't get along and eventually get into a brief scuffle.
  • Unsure of the changes occurring in his life, Dwayne suddenly breaks off his relationship (and engagement) with Nina, stating that he doesn't love her.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Harold has something resembling a heart attack and collapses to the floor.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • In a flashback, we see a poster on a police station wall that shows a variety of guns.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Leave me the f*ck alone," "Bullsh*t," "Oh sh*t," "Knocking boots" (having sex), "Shut up," "Black ass," "Nappy ass," "I don't give a damn," "Screw" (nonsexual), "Crackers" (white people), "Who the hell are you?" "You can kiss my ass," "Sorry ass," "What the hell is your problem?" "You're going to screw things up," "Fag," "The hell with that," "Lazy ass," "What the hell is that?" "Don't screw around," "Two-timing, lying bitch" and "Idiot."
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • None.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 1 "f" word, 5 "s" words (1 written), 1 slang term for sex ("knocking boots"), 2 slang terms using male genitals ("d*ck" and "pr*ck"), 1 slang term for breasts ("t*ts" in English subtitles), 14 hells (1 in English subtitles), 11 damns, 8 asses (1 used with "hole"), 1 crap, 4 uses of "G-damn," 2 each of "Jesus" and "Jesus, Mary and Joseph" (the latter in English subtitles both times) and 1 use each of "For Christ's sakes," "God," "Oh my God" and "Sweet Jesus" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • We briefly see Michael and Samantha kissing (we later learn that Samantha is a guy in drag).
  • We see a large, middle-aged woman in her large, non-sexy undergarments (in a flashback), after a young Dwayne playing pulled on her dress, causing it to fall off that woman's body.
  • In an imagined scene, an older man pats a middle-aged woman (whom he's seeing) on her clothed butt.
  • In the background of a shot set at an airport, it looks like a security guard is holding a vibrator (or something similar) and the owner acting like they didn't know what it is.
  • Dwayne and Michael have a discussion about Samantha (who's really a man), with Dwayne asking Michael that if he "knocked boots" with a man, wouldn't that mean he was gay.
  • We briefly see some women in bikinis.
  • Trying to speak Vietnamese to a middle-aged store owner/clerk, Dwayne mistakenly tells her that she has "nice t*ts" (we see the English translation in subtitles).
  • We see Michael in his underwear and Dwayne in his boxers. Samantha then arrives and thinks that something is going on between the two men (there isn't). A comment is then made about someone marrying someone else and them not having "the equipment you need."
  • To goad Samantha, Dwayne feigns that he's Michael's gay lover and jokes that he's tired of being on top and that they can switch positions.
  • SMOKING
  • Both Samantha and Thanh smoke several times, while Dwayne smokes once.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Mia's decision to find and then bring her biological mother into her adoptive family's life doesn't sit well with everyone. Dwayne is initially quite cold and distant to her, telling Nina that he blames his biological father's death on Thanh and that he can't remember what his father looked like. Dolores takes Mia's action as a personal slap in the face, and they don't get along for much of the rest of the film.
  • We see a flashback where a young Mia worries that she'll be separated from Dwayne in a refugee center.
  • Harold and Dolores have an argument that results in him collapsing to the floor.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Adoption and the ramifications - both good and potentially bad - of adopted kids finding their biological parents.
  • Transvestites.
  • Dolores briefly talks about an alley cat being all over their family cat and repeats that the cat was raped.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Samantha smacks Michael when she believes that he told Dwayne about his real sexual identity.
  • Thanh and Dolores get into a scuffle with some pushing, slapping and hair grabbing (that's presumably staged for laughs rather than tension). During this, Samantha tries to punch Dwayne but hits Michael instead, knocking him unconscious.



  • Reviewed September 15, 2000 / Posted October 6, 2000

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