Title: Everything Before Us
Directors: Philip Wang and Wesley Chan (Wong Fu Productions)
Cast: Aaron Yoo, Brittany Ishibashi, Brandon Soo Hoo, Victoria Park, Randall Park, Joanna Sotomura, Chris Riedell, Ki Hong Lee
Genre: Indie, Drama, Romance
Running Time: 100 minutes
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What if everyone had an emotional integrity score akin to a credit score? Would that aid in people’s quest for love and happiness? Everything Before Us attempts to answer these questions through two contrasting yet parallel relationships.
Wong Fu was one of the pioneers who truly showed that content on YouTube could be as entertaining, if not even more creative and endearing than anything on TV/movies. Asian casting aside, for the Asian viewer in the US, their productions often have relatable and genuine themes that are not addressed by mainstream media. While I am not a regular viewer/follower, I do recognize their tremendous growth in production values throughout the years. Everything Before Us is their first full-length motion picture effort. Similar to a lot of their shorts, the movie’s main focus is on love and relationships (which is probably Wong Fu’s specialty) in a post-modern world in which the government tries to protect against hurtful/bad relationships. The cinematography was beautiful, but the storyline was rather predictable. Perhaps they were not accustomed to such a long running time — I felt like it was a bit drawn out. While there were some good scenes, as a whole it didn’t draw me in like some of their shorts (such as “The Last“) and there wasn’t that usual resonance.
This is an incredibly difficult movie review for me to write. I have supported Wong Fu’s works for years. I did not hesitate to make monetary contributions to their movie campaign. They provided a very intriguing premise and detailed a thorough budget plan. [They make very convincing grant writers, if I may say. :P] Along the filming process, I was given updates and the anticipation greatly built. I believed in their visions. Due to all that, my thoughts may be biased. More importantly, I approached this movie with high expectations. Did it deliver? Yes and no. As expected, the film was artistic and thought-provoking. The problem is that the premise (introduced months before the film was made) already provoked all these thoughts and conversations. The film, in my opinion, did not further illuminate the premise. It did not deliver an emotional punch. But overall, it was a beautiful attempt — they might want to fasten the pace a bit and dial down on the cheesiness a bit for their next feature film. :) In the end, I am still proud of what Wong Fu achieved and will still be their supporter.
This was a movie made for fans and with the support of fans. Its success through crowdsourcing paved a way for independent filmmakers looking for a nontraditional route to produce art. Cheers to new media!
Our favorite scene from the movie: