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Combination Platter (1993)

Cast: Jeffrey Lau, Colleen O'Brien, Lester "Chit-Man" Chan, more...
Director: Tony Chan
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Studio: Koch Lorber Films
Genre: Drama
Running Time: 84 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English
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Made on the proverbial shoestring, Combination Platter represents the directorial debut of 23-year-old Tony Chan. Himself a Hong Kong emigre, Chan draws from his own experiences in detailing the tribulations of illegal immigrant Jeff Lau, who takes a low-paying job at a Szechuan restaurant in New York (the film was shot in the restaurant owned by Chan's parents!) Lau would like to attain US citizenship, and has been told that this will be possible if marries an American girl. Frightened at this prospect---especially since it will set him back $25,000--Lau nonetheless scurries about to "Americanize" himself in as short a time as possible (did you know that tipping the waiter is considered an insult in China?) The plot is secondary to the film's atmosphere and ambience: the dialogue flows so naturally from the restaurant's patrons and employees that one is hard pressed to believe that a written script (by Tony Chan and Edwin Baker) actually existed. Combination Platter received mainstream distribution after its 1993 "best screenplay award" win at the Sundance Festival. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

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(Average 5.38)
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GreenCine's Most Valuable Indies: Hon. Mention
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