SXSW 2020: I Will Make You Mine

Left to right: cast members Lynn Chen, Ayako Fujitani, Yea-Ming Chen, Goh Nakamura and Ayami Riley Tomine. Photo credit: Eric Yang.

I Will Make You Mine is a semi-sequel but writer-director Lynn Chen seeks to tell a stand-alone story by focusing on three different women.

While the film is a semi-sequel to two previous films, writer-director Lynn Chen writes the script with a new angle.  Despite being a semi-sequel, the film is meant to serve as a stand-alone story.  However, I should suggest that you probably have some familiarity with characters going into a viewing.  I say this because the film follows Surrogate Valentine and Daylight Savings.

Rachel (Lynn Chen) may be living a luxurious life but her husband is cheating on her.  Meanwhile, Erika (Ayako Fujitani) has to deal with the demands of her job as a professor while also raising her daughter, Sachiko (Ayami Riley Tomine), at home.  The third woman that this film focuses on is Yea-Ming (Yea-Ming Chen).  Yea-Ming is still holding on to her dreams even though it’s fading away.  And yet, what manages to tie all three of them together is their history with inger-songwriter Goh Nakamura (himself).  It’s no surprise that the past comes back to haunt everyone when he comes back into town.  How will they react when he enters the picture once more?

Going back to a high school or college reunion is one thing.  Having to confront your ex, I imagine, more than slightly different.  With Goh in the picture, these women are forced to take a look at where they are in life.  More than that, are the living the life that they once imagined?  I’ve never been in such a circumstance but I can only imagine how it must feel.

With a running time of less than 80 minutes, there’s not a big time commitment in watching the film.  Though if you’re not a fan of black-and-white movies, you’ll probably skip the film anyway.  I wouldn’t recommend skipping the film over the cinematography decisions but you do you.  It didn’t bother me at all given how many classic movies I’ve watched over the years.  However, one thing is certainly true: filmmakers are trying to bring it back.

Through this film, writer-director Lynn Chen is able to put Asian-Americans in front of the camera.  We talk about diversity a lot but more often than not, we only see it by way of indie films (Go Back to China, The Farewell) and rare studio features such as Crazy rich Asians.  A film such as I Will Make You Mine provides more hope for diverse opportunities in the future.

CAST:   Lynn Chen, Yea-Ming Chen, Ayako Fujitani, Goh Nakamura, Joy Osmanski, Mike Faiola, Tamlyn Tomita, Ayami Riley Tomine

Gravitas Ventures will release I Will Make You Mine on Digital/VOD on May 26, 2020. A 2020 SXSW Film Festival Visions program selection. Grade: 3.5/5

Danielle Solzman

Danielle Solzman is native of Louisville, KY, and holds a BA in Public Relations from Northern Kentucky University and a MA in Media Communications from Webster University. She roots for her beloved Kentucky Wildcats, St. Louis Cardinals, Indianapolis Colts, and Boston Celtics. Living less than a mile away from Wrigley Field in Chicago, she is an active reader (sports/entertainment/history/biographies/select fiction) and involved with the Chicago improv scene. She also sees many movies and reviews them. She has previously written for Redbird Rants, Wildcat Blue Nation, and Hidden Remote/Flicksided. From April 2016 through May 2017, her film reviews can be found on Creators.