Siblings Jen (Jo Mei) and Kyle (Andrew Pang) haven’t been the best of friends, but now they’re forced into uncomfortable close proximity during a weekend retreat from New York City to rural Pennsylvania to pack up their mother’s house after her recent death. There’s a lovely effortlessness with which director J.P. Chan — Mei cowrote the film with him — eases us into the siblings’ awkward relationship and the poignance of their task: there’s nothing forced or sentimental here, and more than a modicum of grief-induced humor as they make a discovery among her belongings about their mom (Jodi Long in brief flashbacks) that surprises them, though it probably shouldn’t. As laid-back indies go, this one may be a tad too laid-back: its meandering is a bit trying; this may have worked better as a short. (Chan’s previous films have all been shorts — this is his feature debut.) Still, its bald but never cloying sincerity and smart, crisp performances — Mei is a treat, and I want to see more of her — make it worth your time.
Like what you’re reading? Sign up for the daily digest email and get links to all the day’s new reviews and other posts.
shop to support Flick Filosopher
Independent film criticism needs your support to survive. I receive a small commission when you purchase almost anything at iTunes (globally) and at Amazon (US, Canada, UK):