Golden Delicious, A Review



This is the fourth review of a film shown at this year’s NEWFEST in New York City…


Directed by Jason Karman
Screenplay by Gorrman Lee


Asian-Canadian teen Jake (Cardi Wong) tries out for the school basketball team to spend time with his dreamy new gay neighbor Aleks (Chris Carson), a basketball natural. This complicates relations with Jake’s girlfriend, Valerie (Parmiss Sehat), with whom he’s been long committed. Jake is caught between his demanding father’s (Ryan Mah) expectations for a sports-star son and these new sexual feelings bubbling to the surface. He battles conflicting emotions until Aleks’ friendship brings the two teenagers into a closeness that punctures Jake’s previous caution. Golden Delicious may be a teen coming-of-age drama, lightened with moments of comic relief, but it also examines the strained marriage of Jake’s parents who run the family’s ethnic restaurant, Golden Delicious. His mother (Leeah Wong) feels the demands of the business too often fall on her, and, disappointed by her own life choices, she fights to sway Jake’s sister Janet (Claudia Kai) away from a career as a chef. The complicated dynamics of an assimilated Asian-Canadian family lend a deeper resonance to Jake’s struggle to come out and skirt his father’s expectations than the usual gay teen romance. Thanks to spot-on performances by the film’s young actors, director Jason Karman skillfully captures the complications of young love, teen angst, and the difficult winding path to adulthood with sweetness and surprising gravity.


Allen Ellenzweig, a longtime contributor to this magazine, is a cultural writer based in New York City.