MAIL ORDER WIFE
A Bunch of Pathetic Losers
Release Date: March 11, 2005
Starring: Adrian Martinez, Eugenia Yuan
and Andrew Gurland
Runtime: 92 minutes
Distributor: First Independent Pictures and
Director: Andrew Gurland and Huck Botko
Executive Producer: Doug Liman, David Bartis, Bo
Hyde, Bobby Sheng, and Gary
Producer: Avram Ludwig, Kendall Morgan,
Nina Yang, and Andrew Weiner
Writer: Andrew Gurland and Huck Botko
Address Comments To:Gary Rubin, President
First Independent Pictures
1542 15th Street, Suite 130
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Phone: (310) 656-9480
Bob Myerson and MJ Peckos
8322 Beverly Blvd., 3d Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90069
Phone: (323) 655-9300
Adrian turns out to be a hard taskmaster and a sadist, however, who forces Lichi to make sadomasochistic videos in his dirty basement. Lichi runs to Andrew for protection, giving Andrew a copy of one of Adrian’s sick videos for proof. Although Andrew already has a girlfriend, he sleeps with Lichi. When Lichi wants more from their relationship, Andrew refuses, so Lichi runs back to Adrian.
Andrew discovers, however, that he has developed feelings for Lichi, so he rescues her from Adrian again, and Lichi divorces Adrian so that she and Andrew can get married.
All is not marital bliss in Andrew’s new household. Andrew eventually gets into an argument with Lichi.
Months go by, and Andrew and Adrian are shocked to discover that Lichi has placed herself again in the mail order bride catalogue, under a different name. With co-operation from Adrian and his filmmaking buddy’s parents in Florida, Andrew sets a trap for Lichi in a desperate attempt to win her back, or get revenge on her.
MAIL ORDER WIFE not only is a parody of white American males, it also is a parody of the mercenary desires of Asian women who hook up with such males in order to enjoy the fruits of the greatest capitalist nation on earth. In the end, however, it is clearly the white American males, including Andrew, Adrian and Andrew’s geeky friends, who are the pathetic losers.
All of this is funny, up to a point, because it shows that, even with the best of intentions, there is a dark, sinful side to people’s desires and character traits that causes lots of pain. Eugenia Yuan is especially good as the demure, but strong and clever, Lichi whose experience with Adrian and Andrew leads her to a negative view of their manhood.
Despite the positive potentials of their movie, the filmmakers take a cynical, caustic tone that is somewhat distasteful, ultimately misanthropic and lacking in redemptive qualities. None of the characters in the movie comes off looking good or sympathetic. In fact, they are quite pathetic, and the insights into human behavior don’t really seem to lead anywhere. MAIL ORDER WIFE also contains many very strong obscenities and strong sexual innuendo, though it doesn’t contain graphic sex scenes or revealing sexual nudity. All in all, MOVIEGUIDE® cannot recommend MAIL ORDER WIFE even for adult moviegoers, not only because it is ultimately sleazy and depressing, but also because it lacks strong positive qualities to ameliorate its negative elements.
MAIL ORDER WIFE is funny, up to a point, because it shows that, even with the best of intentions, there is a dark, sinful side to people’s desires and character traits that cause lots of pain. Ultimately, the movie has a dark pagan worldview. The insights into human behavior don’t really lead anywhere, and all of the characters are pathetic. Thus, MAIL ORDER WIFE lacks redemptive, morally uplifting qualities. It also contains very strong foul language and strong sexual innuendo.