DVD My Wedding and Other Secrets

DVD My Wedding and Other Secrets
DVD My Wedding and Other Secrets

Rating: 6.0
Genres: Romance
Director: Roseanne Liang
Writers: Roseanne Liang, Angeline Loo
Stars: Michelle Ang, Matt Whelan, John Barker
The contemporary story of Chinese New Zealand-born over-achiever Emily Chu, raised to believe she can get anything she puts her mind to. Even if ‘anything’ is at odds with her traditional Hong Kong born parents’ wish for her to become a doctor like her two older sisters. Everything is coming up roses – until she meets James, a European New Zealander, and accidentally falls in love with him. But if her father finds out, she will face disownment. By the time Emily realises that she’s sacrificing the respect of her family to follow her heart, James, too, has fallen irrevocably in love and there’s nothing for it but to try and keep their relationship a secret. Happy endings don’t come easy, if at all, but that doesn’t mean they don’t happen. But for Emily to get one, she needs to show James and her family that she has learned a lesson about the selflessness of love. Written by Anonymous
Country: New Zealand
Release Date: 17 March 2011 (New Zealand)


  1. While the movie is billed as a "romance," the fact that it is based on a true story actually gives the film more of a dramatic edge than perhaps the title and the billing of the film fail to alert audiences too, and sadly, may deter those who love a great drama from going to see. So for those who wanna see a romantic film, you'll love this…and for those who love dramas, here is why you should see this film! My Wedding and Other Secrets is based on a documentary by Rosanne Liang called Banana In a Nutshell about her real life experiences; that in and of itself is part of the reasons why the film is so successful. Gone are all the nice ribbons and bows and cute little one-liners you would expect in a "romance" and instead you experience real characters with depth and with real conversation and interactions that are tangible. While in the end the film ends on a happy note as you'd expect from a romance, the journey to that point is littered with the complexities of human emotion, cultural differences, and the loving bond of family. Michelle Ang, who plays Emily Chu, does a wonderful job of creating a character torn between her love of a non-Chinese boyfriend and her family's "Chinese" expectations for their daughter. Emily is then pulled in so many directions in the film while she tries to decide what her life should be, and the best choices to make, and it is her performance that brings this drama to life. Matt Whelan, Pei-Pei Cheng, Kenneth Tsang and Mike Ginn all provide an exceptional supporting cast. Real life "Emily," Rosanne Liang, directed the film and her guidance has created a film with the perfect balance between romance and drama, making a very original "romance" film that is a great drama not to be missed.

  2. I am a man, and not really into reviewing "Date Movies" but My Wedding and Other secrets is a lovely little film. It's not going to change the world in any way, but it's a diverting and well made bit of cinema.

    At the heart of it, MWAOS is simple, personal love story that bridges the race divide in contemporary New Zealand, and let's face it, the major plot line on it's own is no reason to see this film. It's been done a million times before. What makes this more than just a "Bend it Like Beckham" clone is that it's based on the director, Roseanne Liang's, own true story. It gets quite meta at times, as the film heavily references the making of it's own principal source material, a documentary make by Liang about the relationship, upon which the film was based.

    The intimacy these links provide brings a definite charismatic warmth into the film. Certainly, the performances of the two leads are OK if not brilliant, but the gentle awkwardness of the two protagonists has a real, personal charisma to it. They are watchable and relatable, although I do wonder why Emily didn't ever invest in a less naff set of eyeglasses.

    The supporting cast is filled with interesting characters. In particular Emily's entire family (especially the mincing, gossipy Aunty) and James' super-geeky flatmates grab your attention every chance they get.

    In summary, it's a warm and affable love story, told well by a decent cast. But the really memorable thing about this film is the intimacy brought to every level of the production by Liang herself.

  3. A cross-cultural Romeo And Juliet, the charming, quirky and very enjoyable New Zealand romantic comedy My Wedding And Other Secrets is based on the filmmaker's own story. While still a student at university, Roseanne Liang, a New Zealand girl of Chinese descent, married her Caucasian boyfriend. But she was forced to keep the marriage a secret from her strict parents because of their traditional beliefs and attitude towards interracial relationships. This subterfuge put additional pressure on both her and her partner. In 2005, Liang made Bananas In A Nutshell, a 50-minute documentary that explored this secret marriage and its ramifications. She has now turned that autobiographical film into a full-length feature film that dramatises her story and it is full of self-referential asides. The film deals with some universal themes like family, trust, love, relationships, the lot of immigrants adjusting to their new country, culture and tradition, and it has broad appeal. Liang's fictional counterpart here is Emily Chu (played by Michelle Ang), a perky but neurotic over achiever who is the youngest of three sisters. Ang (from TV series Neighbours and Outrageous Fortune, etc) brings an endearingly awkward quality to her performance, but she also manages to suggest the guilt and complex emotional journey of her character. Matt Whelan (from the offbeat comedy Eagle Vs Shark, etc) is also solid as James her boyfriend/husband, who disagrees with her hypocrisy. And veteran Chinese actors Pei-pei Cheng and Kenneth Tsang bring gravitas to their roles as her parents, who prove to be far more understanding. The film's first screening at MIFF was well received, and it's to be hoped that a local distributor will pick up My Wedding And Other Secrets, as it deserves to be seen by a wider audience.

  4. i had no idea what to expect from this movie. the title threw me off and i was thinking 'another chick flick' – that is not the case!

    what i found was a charming story involving two young adults stumbling into the real world of attraction, love, commitment, and dealing with cultural differences. the director roseanne liang did a marvelous job of pulling these issues together without having one issue overwhelm the others. beautifully acted by the two lead characters and especially michelle ang! her lessons are expressed from the heart – and she learns that the world outside of oneself can appear to be very cold when it is not. it's all in how you perceive it. her boyfriend learns this a bit slower.

    my only problem with this movie is the father character. one daughter's love is destroyed by his prejudice but the youngest daughter's love is accepted with little justification. watch the movie and you will understand. the father has no guilt in what he did to the eldest daughter and that point is not addressed in the story. yet, he seems more relaxed with the path the youngest has taken. if he chose to be more 'giving' with his youngest daughter because of the unhappiness suffered by the eldest daughter, then the director failed to clarify that fact.

    outside of that conflict i have with this movie, i find it a truly delightful and entertaining film. the ending is a bit 'soft' but i'm willing to overlook that due to the fine and expressive acting by the lead characters.

Leave a Reply

Lost Password