Review of “Floored by Love”

A short but sweet cinematic confection, Floored by Love is a feel-good movie with believable characters and realistic situations. Directed by Desiree Lim, the film cuts between two storylines: the first centers on the coming-out and commitment woes of an Asian-Canadian lesbian couple (Janet and Cara, played by Natalie Sky and Shirley Ng); the other follows a gay teenager (Jesse, played by Trenton Millar) and the complex relationship he has with his supportive parents.

Family love and the complexity of familial relations are the core issues in both story lines, giving the film a solid and balanced center. Set in Vancouver, Floored opens on Cara and Janet, presenting them as a happy, grounded couple. When gay marriage is legalized in British Columbia, Janet immediately wants to tie the knot, but Cara is hesitant and terrified of upsetting her conservative, Chinese parents.

Meanwhile, 14-year-old Jesse encounters the difficulty of relating to his stepfather and his gay biological father, both of whom are supportive of him and, in fact, compete for his attention.

When Cara's parents come to visit, she uses the old “this is my roommate” tactic to avoid coming out to her family, much to Janet's dismay. Cara even goes so far as to rip down any Sapphic decorations in their apartment, only to forget a rainbow flag left in a corner.

Her mother does notice, but completely misses the point. She asks Janet, who is a Japanese Canadian, “Is that the flag of your nation? It's very colorful.” The movie is filled with hilarious little moments that keep the tone light and the audience happy.

It isn't all played for laughs, however, as the rift that grows between Janet and Cara over Cara's closeted behavior is intense and heartfelt. Their conflict is exacerbated by the fact that Janet's mother, Mrs. Nakano, is so accepting of their relationship, despite her own conservative background. When Janet comes out to her mother and tells her about the possible wedding plans, Mrs. Nakano first asks if she has done something wrong, then states wholeheartedly, “I just want you to be happy.”

This powerful scene shows that change and acceptance can and do occur. Mrs. Nakano even supports the wedding when Cara is uncertain about it, and talks with Cara in Janet's absence about love and commitment (plus, she teaches Cara how to make sashimi). It's a wonderful bonding moment, as well as a welcome departure from the intolerance Cara feels from her own family.

Despite having relatively little acting experience, the actress who plays Mrs. Nakano is phenomenal. She gives the film one of its most lovable characters and certainly one of its most grounded, emotionally honest performances.

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