Dealing with Dad is a family drama film that explores the intricacies of Asian-American family dynamics. The movie follows the story of Margaret Chang, who and her two brothers return to their hometown to deal with their father’s sudden depression. Starring Ally Maki, Hayden Szeto, and Peter S Kim, the film portrays the difficulties of being raised by a strict and sometimes abusive parent and how it impacts their personal lives.
Margaret (Maki), the most stable of the siblings, went to college and achieved a solid job, while Roy (Kim), the oldest, works a mediocre job and struggles to cope with his recent separation. The youngest at 33, Larry (Szeto) lives at home and buys and sells action figure collectibles. When their father’s depression makes him more likable, the siblings struggle to find a solution to his condition.
Under the direction of Tom Huang (Find Me, Unusual Targets), the movie is anchored by solid performances from the cast, especially Maki, who brings depth and nuance to her portrayal of a responsible, level-headed woman struggling to keep her family together. Szeto and Kim also shine in their respective roles, providing some mediocre comic relief to the otherwise emotionally charged movie.
All three siblings share a problematic childhood with their strict and sometimes abusive father. As they try to make their father better, they share their experiences and memories, slowly uncovering hidden truths behind their father’s behavior. Throughout this time, each sibling encounters changes in their personal lives that affect their futures. The film provides a great insight into Asian-American culture and the challenges of being raised by a difficult parent.
The film’s pace is deliberate, and the narrative takes its time to delve into the siblings’ individual stories and the complexities of each relationship with their father. While this might come across as slow to some, it allows the audience to understand and empathize with the characters on a deeper level. One of the film’s strengths is its insightful portrayal of Asian-American culture and how it impacts family dynamics. It sheds light on the challenges of being raised by a strict and often abusive parent and its impact on the siblings’ personal lives.
Dealing with Dad is a heartfelt and thought-provoking film that tackles difficult family dynamics with sensitivity and insight. The film delicately conveys the emotional hardship within the family, although it may come across as slow-paced for some. There are a few comedic moments however, the dialogue is relatively simple. This family bonding-style film is best watched at home, providing viewers with a heartwarming and relatable story.
Dealing with Dad is out now.