The Asian Wave (my excitement of how Movies are finally featuring a lot of Asian Performers onscreen) is on and the Wave bring us to Vietnam, in this eye catching sumptuous l Netflix movie called “ A Tourist Guide To Love.” Mind you it’s not a travelogue but an off the beaten path of a RomCom story loosely based on the life of screenwriter Eirene Tran Donohue’s real-life experiences being dumped by her boyfriend as she was about to go to Vietnam. The lead actress Rachel Lee Cook is also a Co Producer and another co – conspirator of this film.
The world Is open again and beyond the usual destination of Hong Kong, Korea and Japan is an alternative destination mostly known to Americans as the source of the sumptuous PHO food and the Vietnam War Movies like Platoon and Apocalypse Now (which were actually shot in location in the Philippines).
Now is your chance to see the real Vietnam. Featuring Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, Hội An, Hanoi and Hà Giang. As I mentioned, you will see an off the beaten path presentation of the said country you will not expect in a movie. To See is to Believe ! My favorite is the spiritual scene in the My Son Sanctuary – Ruined Hindu Temples… I suddenly felt – spiritual… for real transported to a new world. Bliss…
In contrast, the scene wherein Amanda needed to cross the path of the Motorbikes – it’s like a trust walk in a frat hazing that shows the raw Vietnam traffic and how we all should weave through our problems. We should trust in our confidence to get through amidst the chaos. Wow, I love the Memorable Soundtrack with bouncy lively music to accompany the colorful picturesque cinematography of the different provinces of Vietnam…. The best songs for me are from the Vietnamese Pop Superstar (Vietnam Alum Alum) – Bich Phuong the songs: “Em Chao Tet” and “Đi Đu Đưa Đi” Please find the Music Video on YouTube.
The highlight of the film is the energetic and sexy Love Triangle of sexy and energetic actors : Rachel Leigh Cook (The Baby-Sitters Club, He’s All That.) who plays the Heroin – Amanda, Asian American Actor – Scott Ly (Criminal Minds, The Young and the Restless) who plays the Sinh Tach – the new love interest, Ben Feldman (Super Store, Silicon Valley) who plays John – the Ex. The casting of them three is genius, they all have contrasting personalities, even almost frenetic in energy but as they perform together as one it’s Rom Com Bliss. Did I mention they are all Sexy and Beautiful ! It’s truly, a great ensemble cast.
In the mix of all of this is a white lie that Amanda is keeping from Sinh Tach which might explode back to her anytime in the story…. We are shown how they fall in love in the backdrop of all the beauty and the raw scenery of Vietnam. Could a summer love affair ensue inspite of this … white lie… What if he finds out, what if the original boyfriend John suddenly pops up….Amidst all of this romantic situations are beautiful acting performance of Missi Pyle (galaxy Quest) the boss of Amanda, who in some parts of the movie is the Deux Ex Machina, the Voice of God, conscience of Amanda. But Missi Pyle is witty funny and I love her one liners. The other performances to watch out for are:
Andrew Barth Feldman – Alex, the lanky young Vlogger who always shares his Vietnam experiences Live on this Social Media feed. A cute refreshing performance. Julia Schiplett – the manicurist has a one on one tête-à-tête with Amanda – oh I was laughing out loud on this scene… a short scene but for me was memorable.
Please watch out for this Vietnamese-Australian actresd – Quinn Trúc Trần as the Co Host of the Tour Group Cousin Anh. She is a wild child with Pink Hair with funny One Liners much similar to Akwafina in the film “ Crazy Rich Asian. “ She is an actress to watch out for. Now, the Grandmother character, beautifully performed by actress Nsưt Lê Thiện (Goodbye Mother, The Emperor’s Gift). FYI, most Asian Society are a Matriarchal Society. Grandma shows everyone who is the boss. She can read everybody like a book. Including making Sinh Tach realize his true feelings for Amanda.
My Lesson Learned from this film:Trust in your instincts, live life, move on, don’t be afraid to love, avoid lying, make peace, appreciate what you have infront of you and … travel … who knows, you might find your next love… not only your summer Love, but your True Love…I highly recommend watching “ A True Guide to Love. “ Now available on Netflix, the source of truly entertaining TV Shows and Films.
Here’s the trailer of the film.
This sound like a fun comedy film to watch for sure .
I got so curious about the movie! I’ll definitely check it out soon on Netflix! It’s crucial that Hollywood breaks borders and opens even more doors to Asian actors and Asia. Change is good and can bring us wonderful things. Thank you Luis, for this detailed and inspiring review!