Check this out: A Broadway actress co-writes a romantic comedy. She directs it and stars in it alongside Gale Harold, Margaret Cho, Christine Baranski, and Lewis Black. Even Bobby Flay makes an appearance. The movie turns out to be charming. It hits all the right notes – pretending to be someone else, crashing into a very eligible bachelor, a fabulous best friend, quirky and heartwarming parents, not to mention great clothes – and at the same time, brings several fresh and insightful scenes to the romantic comedy genre. Whoopi Goldberg loves the film. So does the head of Universal Studios, who repeatedly phone calls our actress to tell her so.
But no movie studio, no TV channel, and barely any theaters will pick up this film.
Why on earth?
The movie is called Falling for Grace, and the actress is Fay Ann Lee, a Chinese-American. Every market (including Universal Studios) has told her the same thing: “We can’t sell this as a romantic comedy because the main character is Asian. You have to go sell it as an Asian-American film. Good luck.”
If you’re in New York, you can see this movie at 239 E. 59th Street (at 2nd Avenue) through Thursday, April 1st, at 2:30, 4:30, 7:00, and 9:30. I’ve seen it. It’s great. Fay Ann is likeable, real, and sexy. She and Gale have adorable chemistry. The side characters are all very funny, and acted with great sincerity. You will laugh. You’ll be charmed. And you’ll be taking a step on the road toward the day that mixing genres in film is a plus, not a death knell.