Daily News header

Model Minority Film Review

By     get stories by email

Dysfunctional Family Drama Revolves around Interracial Romance

16 year-old Kayla Tanaka (Nichole Bloom) is an aspiring artist with a promising future provided she keeps her nose to the grindstone while trying to land a college scholarship. But that's easier said than done since she's being raised in a rough area of Los Angeles where temptation lurks around every corner.

So, one might expect her parents to approve when she starts dating an equally-ambitious classmate (Robert Bailey, Jr.) from the other side of the proverbial tracks whose father is a successful, Harvard-trained lawyer. But no, Kayla's mother, Angie (Jessica Tuck), puts the kibosh on the liaison just as soon as she discovers that the object of her affection is African-American, ordering her daughter to "Get the [F-word] out of the house" because "you're sneaking around with a Goddamn [N-word]."

model
Unfortunately, it only falls on deaf ears when Kayla points out that her white mother's been in an interracial relationship with a Japanese man (Chris Tashima) for the past 22 years. Their marital status is about to change however, because Mrs. Tanaka has a terrible drug addiction that's frustrated her husband to the point of moving out of the house and filing for divorce.

Between their mom's habit and hypocrisy, it is only a matter of time until both Kayla and her younger sister, Amberlyn (Courtney Mun), rebel by hanging out with black guys anyway. Trouble is their new suitors aren't straitlaced like J.J., but stone-cold ghetto gangstas with not much of a future to speak of.

Kayla's lover, Treyshawn (Delon de Metz), is a 19 year-old drug dealer with his own car, while her sibling can be found hanging out in alleys swapping sexual favors for Chinese food. In the absence of a stable home life, the question soon becomes, can these girls be saved before spiraling totally out of control?

So unfolds Model Minority, a dysfunctional family drama marking a most impressive directorial/scriptwriting debut of Lily Mariye. An accomplished actress in her own right, Ms. Mariye is perhaps best known for portraying Nurse Lily Jarvik on the TV series ER.

Here, she proves to be quite the storyteller, spinning a quite compelling, cross-cultural, character-driven drama with its finger on the pulse. Considerable credit must also go to Nichole Bloom (Project X) for throwing herself into the emotionally-challenging role of Kayla with an admirable abandon.

A melting pot morality play about the temptations and travails of a couple of good girls gone bad.

Excellent (4 stars)

Unrated

Running time: 94 minutes

Distributor: Nice Girls Films

To see a trailer for Model Minority:

Kam Williams is a syndicated film and book critic who writes for 100+ publications. He is a member of the New York Film Critics Online, the African-American Film Critics Association, and the NAACP Image Awards Nominating Committee. Contact him through NewsBlaze. Read more reviews by Kam Williams.

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

Kenneth Feinberg's law firm, which had previously handled the distribution of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, was retained at a rate of $850,000/month to handle the BP one also. Although the TV commercials running in the company's hig
Kam Williams says Burns was the director, producer, co-writer, chief cinematographer, music director and executive producer of the landmark television series THE CIVIL WAR.
Prairie Miller stopped by to talk to UK British primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and Disneynature Ambassador, Jane Goodall about Bears as well her longstanding concern and caring for endangered animals in their natural habitats
Kam Williams presents his top 10 DVD List for April 15, 2014, including Double Indemnity, Touch of Evil, Jan Svankmajer's Alice and Midsomer Murders: Village Case Files
Movie reviewer Kam Williams reviews the Documentary Film 'The Address'. Williams gives the documentary 4 stars and says it is a current-day, Ken Burns PBS production every bit as moving as any of his nostalgic classics.
Movie reviewer Kam Williams interviews actor Marlon Wayans about his new movie, A Haunted House 2 and shares it with NewsBlaze readers around the world.

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month



Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site