Program Detail


Michael Kang / USA / 2011 / 77 min / English / Color / San Francisco Premiere


Paradise isn’t quite for lovers in Michael Kang’s refreshing new Hawaii-based, island-powered romantic comedy, which tracks three sisters and their oft-divorced mother whose success at running a wedding-planning business is matched only by the failure of their romantic affairs. Having escaped the family business—and, more to the point, the family—years ago by moving to Los Angeles, marriage-phobic Lily (Kimberly-Rose Wolter, who also wrote and produced) skulks back to Hawai’i when her own relationship breaks down, and suddenly finds herself back at work at “Tying the Knot.” Lily’s lucklessness at love is mirrored by her two half-sisters, the heavily pregnant Twinny (Mia Riverton), whose wayward husband has been “disappearing” a little too often, and the bubbly Hoku (Janel Parrish), who has got her eyes—and hopefully her hands—on mucholder local boy Kai (Sung Kang), who also happens to be Lily’s ex-boyfriend. Meanwhile, the sisters’ mother (the fabulous Illeana Douglas) is looking for love of her own—again, with anyone, right now.

Director Michael Kang, well known for the coming-of-age comedy The Motel (SFIAAFF ‘05) and the NYC Koreatown noir West 32nd (SFIAAFF ‘08), further demonstrates his directorial range through this unexpected choice for his third feature, a sunny romantic comedy fueled by four excellent actresses. Hawaiian-born-and-raised Wolter (who starred in and wrote Tre; Special Jury Prize, SFIAAFF ‘08), sets the comedic pace with an impish, Audrey Hepburn-esque charm, and is well matched in skill, appeal, and beauty by both Riverton (Red Doors) and Parrish (Pretty Little Liars). Festival favorite Sung Kang (Fast Five; Better Luck Tomorrow) contributes his natural heartthrob charisma as the local boy caught between two sisters, while Douglas (To Die For; Goodfellas) reminds viewers just how good she can be. Casually boasting three strong multiracial lead actresses, filmed across Oahu and with a score by Hawaiian phenom Jake Shimabukuro, Knots slips across the screen as smoothly as an island breeze, and gives the family-comedy genre some much-needed new variety.

-Jason Sanders



  • Director: Michael Kang
  • Producer: Roy Tjioe, Ric Galindez, Michael Kang and Kimberly Rose-Wolter
  • Cinematographer: Shawn Hiatt
  • Editor: Robert Bates
  • Cast: Sung Kang, Illeana Douglas, Mia Riverton
  • Sound: David F. Van Slyke


March 16, 2012 7:00 pm
Camera 3 Cinemas
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