As irresistibly sentimental as TERMS OF ENDEARMENT and nearly as complex as JFK, THE JOY LUCK CLUB unravels the web of relationships linking four Chinese-born mothers to their American daughters. Wayne Wang's sleek, intelligent adaptation of Amy Tan's celebrated novel is too long and,
ultimately, too soapy, but he and his screenwriters (Tan herself, together with RAIN MAN writer Ronald Bass) have injected just enough irony into the proceedings to save the day.
Wang's biggest achievement is navigating the narrative maze of the novel in such a way that the audience doesn't get hopelessly lost. Most of the drama happens in flashback, with several actresses steppin...