What makes FRONT COVER charming and entertaining, however, is its combination of decent dialog, good performances, deft direction and an insistence, where the home stretch is concerned, on believability over feel-good.
Raymond Yeung, aka Ray Yeung (shown at left), a Hong Kong-based filmmaker with a few earlier films to his credit. His latest explores Asian identity and sexual identity, both East and West versions -- in China (via that popular leading-man actor) and here in the USA (from the POV of our fashion stylist). Neither one, it turns out, is all that comfortable behind the mask that he has created for himself. All of which proves nothing much new, but the way Mr. Yeung handles his tale is appropriate, often fun, and finally surprisingly moving.
Jake Choi, on poster, top) is surrounded by stereotypical characters, from his diva boss at the fashion mag (Sonia Villani, above) to his BFF (played by Jennifer Neala Page, below). Both actresses do what they can with limited and rather obvious material, but fortunately the movie concentrates most of its mind and heart on its two leading men.
James Chen (below) as Ning, the hot young Chinese actor, who is himself constricted by his "image" and constantly surrounded by female hangers-on.
Strand Releasing and running 87 minutes -- is worth a watch. After screening at various GLBT festivals, it opens theatrically this Friday, August 5, in New York City at City Cinema's Village East Cinema, and the following Friday, August 12, in Los Angeles at the the Sundance Sunset Cinema. To see other currently scheduled playdates, with cities and theaters listed, click here and then click on Screenings on the task bar midway down the page.