Everything Everywhere All at Once

Everything Everywhere All at Once

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

Even in the multiverse, it's so disappointing to see how this film can't conceive of being a woman without motherhood. Or more specifically, that a woman couldn't possibly be actually happy without it. In the universe where Evelyn is creatively fulfilled, she gets told that she's not actually content because she didn't end up with Waymond.

While Evelyn is supposed to be the "chosen one", what ends up saving the day is her husband's message to "be kind." However, the only reason Waymond can even be the nice, bumbling man he is, is that Evelyn is taking care of things. Although I find this type of message to be overtly simplistic and saccharine, I wouldn't have minded as much if Evelyn came to it organically, however, the "be kind" message seems to come out of nowhere.

It's also so sad (but not surprising) to see that mainstream Asian American media can't seem to envision mothers outside of the narrow confines of the tiger mom. Evelyn and her daughter reconcile in the end, but it's done in such a way, where they're supposed to be happy with the lives that the U.S. imposes on working-class immigrants, instead of creating something new together. Her daughter's queerness was also not meaningfully explored other than having a white girlfriend. I don't want to invalidate any queer Asian Americans who resonated with Joy's character, but personally, her characterization didn't feel meaningful or detailed enough to give her queerness any real weight.

I also felt just unmoved and uninspired by the filmmaking, and I'm someone who usually loves over-the-top visuals (two of my 2021 faves were Titane and Annette). But, in EEAO, the visuals and jokes felt very juvenile, like a bunch of early 2010 YouTube videos mashed together (albeit, at a high level).

I would love to see Michelle Yeoh and Ke Huy Quan in something else though.

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