Film Review: Chu and Blossom

By Kevin Young

Chu and Blossom, directed by Gavin Kelly and Charles Chu (has a leading role), tells the comedic story of a Korean foreign exchange student attending high school in rural America.

Joon Chu (Charles Chu) follows his parent’s wishes and believes that he wants to become a structural engineer. Yet in reality he has a fascination with locust insects and continuously implies that he wants to fly.

He has immense trouble fitting in the typical rural American high school. He is the only minority in all of his classes, his classmates find him weird, and despite his tall stature he always gets picked last for basketball. Joon is miserably and wants this final semester of high school to go by swiftly.

Yet his plans are deferred when he encounters his new best friend, the rambunctious artist, Butch Blossom. (Ryan O’Nan) Butch often advises Joon on the American culture and winds up getting them both into mischief with the town locals. Butch’s flamboyant yet rowdy character comes from being raised by a lesbian aunt and a gay uncle. The important lesson Joon learns from Butch is how to enjoy life from being drunk to jumping off of a cliff.

Overtime Joon has become accustomed to his new life in America and lollygagging around with Butch on a daily basis. In opposition to the Asian stereotype of being gifted in math and science, Joon doesn’t excel in AP math and science courses at his school. He enjoys and excels in his artistic photography class. With his camera as his guide he snaps pictures of almost everything mundane. After spying on a couple becoming intimate with one another in a park he takes pictures yet notices the pink haired Cherry Swade (Caitlin Stasey) is doing the same.

The two eventually befriend one another and develop passionate feelings which entail them to start dating.

Joon often contacts his parents and elaborates on all of his experiences. Yet his strict traditional Asian parents warn him to forgo his new life and to just solely focus on studying. Joon must choose to breakaway from the stereotypical norms expected of him or to find his own path in life.

Whether it’s the farcical banter from Joon’s adoptive American family or Butch’s unrelenting bizarreness, this film will keep you dying of laughter. It touches upon relatable Asian stereotypes and being a teenager in high school trying to mold your own identity. If there’s an overreaching lesson in this film it’s to learn to stick up for what you believe in.

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