As a journalist (kind of) I have an obligation to be honest, so here goes: I’ve read The Joy Luck Club (and many other Amy Tan books) multiple times. I might even have teared up over The Joy Luck Club, movie version. I thought it was poignant, moving, and so, so true. Which is clearly not the case now.
It’s not that I hate Amy Tan these days, or think that she purposefully perpetuates the myth of “Asian parenting.” I just think she’s formulaic (how many times can you write about the exact same mother/daughter relationship? Answer: enough times so that your reader can predict exactly when, where, and how shit will go down and the daughter will finally realize that her mother only had the best of intentions at heart), and that her inability to write about more than one kind of Chinese mother has led to the mistaken belief that all Chinese/Asian mothers speak limited English and are incapable of communicating with their daughters.
But talking about The Joy Luck Club was not the point of this post. No, the point was to talk bemoan the beginnings of The Joy Luck Club, part 2. It…probably won’t be called that, but the gist is the same, because there is talk about adapting Amy Chua’s Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother into a movie. The producers of the original Joy Luck Club have said that they see the book as a movie prospect so exciting, they wanted to lie about it to throw others off the scent. So far, there are no concrete plans, and Amy Chua’s team has made no comment whatsoever. Let’s hope that if they ever do, it’s a resounding no. If we’re going to have a movie with a lead Asian American actress, I want it to be in a role that’s not stereotypical.