- Science Fiction
Fix: You Wanted A Multiverse Movie That ACTUALLY Showed You Multiverses (#Shade), Families That Aren’t Perfect, Immigrant Stories, Living Up To Your Potential, You Want To Be Confused In A Good Way, You’re Cool With Balls-To-The-Walls Weirdness From Every Angle
Platform: Available For Rent on Most Streaming Platforms (Redbox, Amazon, Google Play, AppleTV, etc.)
An aging Chinese immigrant is swept up in an insane adventure, in which she alone can save the world by exploring other universes connecting with the lives she could have led.
Evelyn is at that age where you step back and look at your life and ask: Is this it? Is this what I’ve accomplished? Yes, she and her husband, Waymond, own their own business (a laundromat) and raised a daughter (and it’s totally fine if she wants to be a lesbian, just maybe don’t tell grandpa), but will it just be the same thing over and over until they eventually die?
In the lobby of the IRS building where Evelyn’s business is being audited, her life changes forever: she meets an alternate dimension version of her husband who tells her that yes, she is living a supremely boring life, but it doesn’t have to stay that way because the multiverse needs this particular Evelyn to save all of existence.
What happens next really needs to just be experienced to be understood, but when I tell you it’s banana-pants craziness, trust: it is.
I wasn’t familiar with Stephanie before this movie but, WOW, she is electric on-screen. I don’t want to spoil too much but Joy has some incredibly cool costume changes and funky, weird moments, and you simply can’t look away from her.
The man has an entire choreographed fight scene using a weaponized FANNY PACK. He is a damn DELIGHT. Some people still look exactly as they did as a child, and Ke Huy, who I have not seen in anything besides The Goonies and Temple of Doom when he was like ten, is one of those people who are just instantly recognizable. As Waymond, he radiates good-guy beta energy and you can’t help but fall in love with him (and just wait ‘til a certain multiverse—yowza!).
Michelle Yeoh is a freaking multi-national treasure. She has to do SO much in this role, including dust off her martial arts skills, which was so fun to see.
You know James’ face even if you don’t remember exactly from where because, spoiler alert: it’s from everywhere. The man’s IMDB has four hundred and fifty acting credits! He’s in his nineties and still acting! I’m sorry for all the exclamation points, but I’m just incredibly impressed. Anyway, his role in this particular movie as Evelyn’s crochety dad isn’t the biggest, but the character acting is what he does best.
Jamie Lee Curtis as Deirdre Beaubeirdre
It’s Jamie Lee in one of those roles where you do a double-take and you’re like, holy shit is that JLC? And also where you think—if you haven’t already—that Jamie Lee is probably a pretty cool chick because she’s doing a movie like this and isn’t afraid to really go for it (see below: hot-dog hands). She plays the tax auditor for Evelyn’s business and much, much more.
Couch-Sharing Capability: A Trustworthy Couch Partner
I’m gonna level with you: this movie isn’t for everyone. Leave behind the people who will be on their phones and tuning back in at the wrong moment and then dismiss it as incomprehensible. DO NOT watch with a relative who can’t follow anything more complicated than the plot of a Hallmark romance and will constantly be asking you questions. And if you’ve got friends who don’t have slightly twisted senses of humor and will clutch their pearls at the sight of a dildo, well, go have a boring Starbucks coffee with them some other time of the week.
You want your true-blue movie partner there by your blanketed side; someone who will bark with laughter but won’t interrupt the dialogue (or at least has the decency to pause first) and will appreciate the nuance, beauty, and silliness of the everything bagel.
Recommended Level of Inebriation: Sober
Like Aerosmith, you don’t wanna miss a thing, so either abstain or stick to one weak drink.
Use of Your Streaming Subscription: A Must
There’s a reason why this is being touted as one of the best movies of the year. It’s so cleverly directed and on a crazy small budget for how expensive it looks. The script is humorous and yet super touching (yes, I cried) and will make you contemplate the meaning of life while also shaking your head in disbelief at the bonkers scenarios people can dream up. It features a diverse cast who give some truly incredible performances—I mean, some of them had to act in all seriousness while wearing hot-dog finger props. YES, you heard me correctly.
But not only is the casting on point, the film’s story highlights the oft overlooked POV of a Chinese immigrant woman and treats her story with dignity. (I know the bar is on the floor, but the fact that the two male directors wrote their entire story around a middle-aged woman and didn’t make her the constant butt of a joke, well, it’s sadly refreshingly.) There’s adventure and second-chance romance and the indescribable love between a mother and daughter. It’s not to be missed.