The A.V. Club

The A.V. Club

HQ

Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Stories

This Asian American lesbian love story is one of the best romantic comedies of the aughts

The 2004 romantic comedy Saving Face starts with a premise that feels both quietly revolutionary and just a touch familiar. Young surgeon Wilhelmina “Wil” Pang (Michelle Krusiec) finds herself at odds with the more conservative streak of her Chinese-American immigrant community in Flushing, Queens. While her widowed, propriety-minded mom Gao Hwei-Lan (Joan Chen) keeps trying to set her up with eligible men, Wil actually has eyes for self-assured ballerina Vivian Shing (Lynn Chen). But Wil has to keep her sexuality a secret…

The final Harry Potter closed a decade of hits—and of failed attempts at the next Harry Potter

The Harry Potter series was too big to fail, and yet it could’ve failed so easily, again and again. In Harry Potter, Warner Bros. had a diamond mine: a series of books that had become a massively lucrative global phenomenon, with a built-in and devoted young audience, plus some blockbuster-ready good-and-evil spectacle. It also had a cast full of children, a gigantic budget, a very active author with veto power, and a fanbase that would’ve been happy to riot at all but the…

"I'm going to give them the gayest movie ever made": An oral history of Another Gay Movie

Fifteen years later, Another Gay Movie is the definition of a cult comedy. A low-budget, crass parody, it was never meant to break through to a mainstream audience, but the viewers it did reach fell in love with it—except for the ones that hated it. Tasteless or not, Another Gay Movie was groundbreaking in its depiction of the messy sex lives of gay men, and its frankness has made it a defining (and educational!) viewing experience for young viewers in the years since. In…

Edward James Olmos on his Blade Runner ad lib and why Selena is the most difficult movie he’s made

Edward James Olmos began his decades-long career with one foot in rock ’n’ roll and one foot in live theater. He combined those loves for his breakout role as the wily, Spanglish-spouting El Pachuco in Luis Valdez’s 1979 play Zoot Suit. That performance led to roles in Wolfen and Blade Runner, as well as the film adaptation of Zoot Suit. As Olmos’ onscreen presence grew, so did his ability to shape his characters—so much so that everyone from Ridley Scott, to Michael Mann, to Gregory Nava…