Yes, We're Open
Richard Wong / USA / 2012 / 80 min / English / Color / World Premiere
What’s a young, modern, and open-minded San Francisco couple to do when their relationship begins to stagnate? In the rollicking new comedy Yes, We’re Open, director Richard Wong and writer H.P. Mendoza of Colma: The Musical fame team up to explore sexual mores and competing carnal desires amidst the seemingly civilized landscapes of open-air farmers markets, independent bookstores, and the latest foodie trends.
We meet thirty-somethings Luke and Sylvia at the four-year mark of their relationship, comfortably ensconced in a domestic partnership. Committed but with no plans to marry, they live together but keep their books apart. Sex, when they have it, is familiar and routine. Enter Elena and Ronald, another couple who challenge Luke and Sylvia’s fidelity (as well as their self-identified sense of modernity) with a more flexible approach to monogamy. While debating colloquial semantics (what’s the difference between a douchebag and an asshole?) and weightier international topics, a subtle and sometimes not-so-subtle seduction ensues. In a city where the politics are as progressive as the food, couples know that buying tomatoes out of season is a culinary faux pas and exhibiting jealousy is an unbecoming anachronism. Luke and Sylvia’s relationship is put to the test, and they are forced to question whether “promiscuity and fidelity aren’t mutually exclusive.”
A lively and entertaining exploration of romantic relationships, Yes, We’re Open is also a celebratory reunion of faces familiar to the Asian American film scene. As a couple at a crossroads, Parry Shen (Better Luck Tomorrow) as Luke and Lynn Chen (Saving Face) as Sylvia tackle their roles with fitting measures of gravity and comic relief. Sheetal Sheth (Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World) and newcomer Kerry McCrohan beguile as the sources of Luke and Sylvia’s temptation and possible demise With wit and humor, the film portrays an array of relationships in a city that proudly flouts convention, all while affectionately satirizing the city’s inhabitants: adults who are socially astute but who possess personal and emotional blind spots that entrap their best intentions. The characters try to make sense of themselves and their lives while they debate, argue, wine, dine, and — of course — have all kinds of sex, ranging from the hilarious and perfunctory to the guilt-ridden and passionate. Along the way, Luke and Sylvia confront hard truths about themselves and their secrets, as they attempt to make a relationship last against the odds, and in spite of the consequences.
Attending guests (3/11) Actors: Lynn Chen, Sheetal Sheth, Parry Shen, Kerry McCrohan, Theresa Navarro and Director Richard Wong
Co-presenter: Kearny Street Workshop (3/11), TaiwaneseAmerican.org (3/11), 4C The Power (3/11) Young Filipino Professionals Association (3/11), TaiwaneseAmerican.org (3/18)
- Director: Richard Wong
- Producer: Theresa Navarro
- Cinematographer: Seng Chen
- Writer: H.P. Mendoza
- Editor: Richard Wong
- Cast: Lynn Chen, Parry Shen, Sheetal Sheth