Combination Platter ★★½ 1993
Anxious young immigrant Robert (Lau), newly arrived from Hong Kong, becomes a waiter at the Szechuan Inn in Queens, New York, where he gets a crash course in American culture and romance (as well as tipping). Gentle comedy works best with little details that ring true: overheard customer conversations, staff banter, the kitchen scenes. Lau's earnest, but effort feels like a series of small vignettes rather than a complete story. Still, a worthy first effort for the then 24yearold Chan, who directed on a $250,000 budget, using his parents restaurant after hours for a set. 84m/C VHS, DVD . Jeff Lau, Coleen O'Brien, Lester Chan, Thomas S. Hsiung, David Chung, Colin Mitchell, Kenneth Lu, Eleonara Khilberg, James DuMont; D: Tony Chan; W: Tony Chan, Edwin Baker; C: Yoshifumi Hosoya; M: Brian Tibbs. Sundance ’93: Screenplay.