‘Falling For Grace’ Opens in D.C. Cinema Aug. 3
Wharton School graduate and erstwhile TV fixture Fay Ann
Lee is the star, writer and director of the romantic comedy, “Falling For Grace,” also known as “East Broadway.” The movie opens
on August 3 at AMC Loews Dupont Circle 5, located on 1350 19th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036.
The film received
good reviews when it was shown in last year’s Tribeca
Film Festival in New York. Under the title, “East Broadway,” it was a sold-out hit,
resulting in additional screening at the festival.
In “Tribeca Films Up Close,” Sara
Brady wrote in Premiere Magazine’s April
27, 2006 issue:
“Lee brings a fresh twist to the tired structure (of romantic comedies) by
setting her story predominantly in New York's Chinatown among minimum-wage immigrants and their
Americanized children. It's not particularly difficult to see where the story's
going, but knowing what comes next makes up much of the reliable satisfaction
of a romantic comedy.”
Fay, born and
raised in Hong
Kong, came to
the United States in her teens. She attended The Wharton
School, University of Pennsylvania and graduated with a degree in Finance.
But instead of accepting offers from Wall Street, Fay instead pursued acting
and was quickly cast in the Broadway production of “Miss Saigon.” The Broadway
show led to TV and guest starring roles on prime time hit shows such as “Law
& Order,” “L&O: Criminal
Intent,” “Third Watch” and played recurring roles on two ABC-TV soaps, “All My
Children” and “One Life To Live.”
Last year, Fay was
invited to Beijing to speak at China's top-ranked Tsinghua University about “Falling For
Grace,” and how the film addresses inter-cultural issues in a multi-cultural
society. The Chinese students suggested
the sequel be shot in China.
As a result of her
China trip, colleges around the country are now
also “Falling for Grace.” Since Tsinghua, Fay has
been invited to speak at Yale three times, Boston University, Temple
University, Johns Hopkins, Berkeley, University of Massachusetts - Amherst, Old
Dominion, James Madison, Bucks County Community College and most recently,
Stanford University, to talk about her personal journey as an independent
female minority filmmaker.
Grace Tang is an ambitious, hardworking
woman determined to get out of working-class Chinatown. She becomes an associate position at a
topnotch Wall Street investment bank. But Grace yearns to be part of the Upper East Side socialite world.
When Grace finally
receives that elusive invitation to the Opera’s prestigious Junior Committee
Meet & Greet, she is prepared to shine. What she isn’t prepared for,
however, is being mistaken as “the Grace Tang” of the Shanghai Tangs, an
heiress from Hong
Kong. But before
Grace can correct the situation, she is introduced to Andrew Barrington, Jr.,
one of New
York City’s most eligible bachelors–and she decides to run with her new
What follows is a
whirlwind ride of romance and white lies, where we are offered a glimpse into
the greedy world of Wall Street and the human side of Chinatown–two different
worlds that interconnect. When Grace and Andrew’s worlds finally collide,
through humor, romance, heartbreak and forgiveness, Grace ultimately learns to
accept herself for what she is.
Magazine (April 24, 2006), noting there were 26 movies at Tribeca festival, urged film goers to start with two films,
including “Falling for Grace” (a.k.a. East Broadway), which “stars
writer-director Fay Ann Lee as a city girl romping through a sprightly
Chinatown romantic comedy with Gale Harold and Margaret Cho...”
screenplay was a quarterfinalist at the 2003 Nicholl’s
Fellowship, a semi-finalist at The Chesterfield Screenwriting Competition in L.
A., and was among the Top 3 films at the 2002 Asian American International Film
Festival Screenwriting Competition.
All in all, it
took Fay a decade to get “Falling for Grace” from script to screen. But she
recalled: “I also had some of the most amazing experiences of my career, with
the likes of Academy Award winning writer Jim Taylor. Producer Graham Place picked up the phone every time I needed
help with another emergency situation, and he kept reminding me to keep my eye
on the prize–finishing the film.”