You gotta hand it to Rodgers & Hammerstein for being the first duo to create a musical for an all-Asian-American cast. Unfortunately, though it may have felt progressive for its time, this film is quite dated - stuck in 60's slang ("tomato" and "bop"), taking women's lib back a couple years, and fraught with those silly Asian characters who quizzically look at American culture and don't know what to make of it.
Still, this is one of those iffy movies that you just love to watch! And the songs (well, most of them, I'm still not enthralled by "I Am Going to Like It Here") are so catchy! The "Love Look Away" dance sequence is one of the most beautifully over-dramatic numbers by far. And the personalities on-screen truly are lovable, especiall Benson Fong who steals the screen with his one-liners. I'm not quite sure how Juanita Hall got in the mix, but she acts as a great counter-balance of comedy with Benson. Dashing James Shigeta, foxy Nancy Kwan, city-wise Jack Soo, and aborable Miyoshi Umeki carry the ridiculous love quadrangle (plus one tragically written Reiko Sato) to its preposterous and Deus ex machina conclusion.
There are also lots of fun errors in the film - like people looking at the camera, or singing when they're not supposed to be, or the really sloppily danced Chop Suey. Fun times, fun times.
And I love the rhyme: "You can't have a new" with "Grant Avenue." Oh Hammerstein.
My friend A.W. better finish writing her script so we have more great, contemporary works from Asian writers!