SLEEPOVER SUNDAYS vol. 2
thoughts on Everything Everywhere All At Once
welcome back to FRESH! find us on insta @freshbywing ♡ have you taken a moment to breathe today?
Sleepover Sundays is a series we usually start on my @wingograph Instagram stories, where we’ll pick a particular topic and have some insightful discussion about our questions and thoughts about it. (please do leave any suggestions for future topics in the comments, or through Instagram DMs!)
this week, we’re focusing on the absurdist comedy-drama film Everything Everywhere All At Once! we’ll start with a few of my thoughts about my experience with the film, then we’ll get right to your thoughts!
spoilers for EEAAO ahead - if you plan on watching the film in the future, i would highly suggest you save this read for after your watch!
alright alright alright, where do we start with this wonderful monster of a film. first off, from a purely film critic standpoint, praise needs to be given for its technical execution across the board - a delightful plot and script that successfully juggles having its hands in so many different genres at once (living up to its title), beautiful cinematography, production design and editing.
that said, this is one of those works of art that are so well-crafted that you don’t even notice nor question the technical aspects of its production, and instead are fully immersed in the experience of its story - which for me was the most profound takeaway from this film. i don’t think i’ve watched any other film that has made me feel so seen, accepted and inherently understood than EEAAO has, to the point where i had to pinch myself regularly throughout watching to make sure i wasn’t actually watching my real life play out on a screen. to say the film resonated with me would be an understatement, and honestly, to categorize it as a fantasy film doesn’t entirely feel fitting. it reads so much more like a (fictionalized) documentary of the Asian-American immigrant and third culture kid experience, albeit with fantasy elements galore plot-wise - take your pick of time travel, giant soul-sucking bagels and alternate universes.
another fantastical element to EEAAO is the plot’s emotional catharsis in its ending scene, where reluctant daughter/universe-hopping super-villain Joy hears an apology from her also universe-hopping mother, Evelyn. categorized under and dubbed as “the millennial parental apology fantasy”, it indeed feels rather fantastical and unrealistic to hear such blunt apology and accountability from your parents, especially as a POC. films have that curious way of allowing you to experience what you wish you had but never did, and i reckon this scene would be in the top 5 of any ABC (or even BBC) millennial’s list - it sure tops mine. i cried like a baby through the whole ending - it was so unbelievably cathartic to hear the words i desperately craved for, and even ones that i didn’t realize i needed.
a big part of EEAAO’s emotional core is its unabashed tackling of weighty themes - intergenerational trauma, emotional abuse, divorce, the queer experience (and of course, filing your taxes). the notion of self-identity in relation to those close to you is thoroughly explored through the film’s familial relationships - the strain of being a mother to a daughter you don’t fully understand nor accept, of being a daughter longing for acceptance from your family, of losing connection with your grandparents because of cultural gaps, of being a wife to a husband who no longer meets your needs (yet sometimes seeing glimpses of his past self). again, as it is so very aptly named, it tackles all the big themes, all at once - it felt like downing an entire buffet of mix and match millennial experiences, and it was a tough yet rewarding one to swallow.
some other little points of note from the film that warmed my heart:
spotting a bottle of Nin Jiom on the shelf in the opening sequence - very homey indeed
Joy’s many alter egos and outfits, all ready to hit the NYFW runway
now, onto your responses!
sh*t was wild… loved it a lot! definitely need to be open minded to absorb this masterpiece without getting hung up on pace etc. beautiful, heartbreaking… shows our worst + best as people
an open mind really is essential for this one, to let yourself be taken along for the journey and not focus on the hows or whys. EEAAO does a wonderful job with Joy in particular with flipping around the ‘villain’ stereotype, and showing both sides of the story without judgement.
it was beautiful!! i loved how it was written and everything tied together + all the chaos
perhaps it is the chaos that ties everything together!
loved it! the parents are like mine a lot and the whole movie had me captivated the whole time
i related to the mother/daughter sentiments but replace the mom with my dad
i think as Asian Americans the experiences portrayed in the movie are very real and accurate to what we feel
think a lot of us would agree on the relatability of the characters and their experiences, to the point of identifying with and seeing our family in them. a testament to the authenticity that EEAAO was written with!
it’s Doctor Strange 2, but good. also, i’m so glad that family trauma is being addressed in film
multiverses galore this year - and absolutely, especially addressed with the level of nuance and care that EEAAO does.
it’s definitely a relatable movie for the young and old generation
EEAAO feels slightly more geared towards Millenial viewers in terms of perspective, but there are relatable elements too for the baby boomer generation and above, for sure.
honestly EEAAO gave me renewed faith in humanity… i loved that it was bursting with creativity and the theme (if i can narrow it down to one) was simple kindness and optimism in the face of nihilism. Waymond is the best
nail on the head with the theme! perhaps one of the hardest things to do, to continue believing in hope despite the many reasons not to that life throws at us. about Waymond - still thinking about Ke Huy Quan’s emotional acceptance speech, really highlights the importance of giving opportunities to POC and up-and-comers, whose talents otherwise would not have had the chance to shine.
i loved it so much i saw it in theaters twice. i was literally thinking about it today
definitely a rewatch-worthy film! there are so many little details that might be missed on a first watch.
over to you! put forth your thoughts and responses in the comments - suggestions for future topics are always welcome!
thank you for being here for this edition of SS, and for your patience with this one - i know it’s been a long time since your responses! time for me to hop off to an alternate life to do laundry and taxes with my other half, see you for the next issue!