ALMOST PERFECT (Opening Night Film)

Bertha Bay-sa Pan / USA / 2011 / 106 min / English / color / digital


In the urban comedies of Bertha Bay-sa Pan, women don’t fall in love on purpose. They don’t flirt and they don’t play games. In Pan’s breakthrough Face (2002), Kristy Wu has enough on her mind – an interfering grandma, an absent mother – such that she doesn’t court love, rather love has to court her.

In the long-awaited ALMOST PERFECT, Pan’s lovely, and yes romantic, second feature, Vanessa (Kelly Hu, in her best role yet) runs into an old acquaintance Dwayne (Ivan Shaw) at a company event. Maybe it’s Dwayne’s disarming good-looks, maybe it’s because we sense unreleased energy in Vanessa’s frantic worklife and crazy family (her parents’ relationship is on the rocks, her younger brother, played by the one-and-only Edison Chen, is in town on an aptly feckless surprise visit), but we know from the film’s opening moments that these two attractive young professionals need to be together, no matter how chaotic big sisterhood can be and how cynical everyone else seems to get about that thing called love.

With Face, Pan proved to be one of Asian American cinema’s foremost storytellers, and with ALMOST PERFECT, she perfects her craft and ups the ante, doubling the size of the family (and comedy of dysfunction) and transforming attraction into magnetism. And through it all, Pan remains that romantic with street cred, a go-getter with a New York state of mind but who knows that sometimes you have to let yourself go to remember what it is you’re trying to get. –Brian Hu

Cast and crew scheduled to attend the 7:00pm screening, which also guarantees entry to the afterparty at Maria Maria Restaurant. Ticket to the 9:45pm screening does not grant entry to the afterparty.

Co-presented by: University of San Diego, USD Center for Inclusion and Diversity, and San Diego Chinese Women's Association, UCSD Hong Kong Student Union, SDSU Sigma Phi Omega Sorority


  • Director: Bertha Bay-sa Pan
  • Producer: Derrick Tseng, Riva Marker, Bertha Bay-sa Pan
  • Writer: Bertha Bay-sa Pan
  • Cast: Kelly Hu, Ivan Shaw, Tina Chen, Edison Chen


October 20, 2011 7:00 pm
Mission Valley UltraStar Cinemas

October 20, 2011 9:45 pm
Mission Valley UltraStar Cinemas