Wu, after admitting his sexuality to his quite domineering and always critical mother, revolts through the Chinese underground music movements and ultimately escapes to New York City, finding love with his partner Eric.
The family to whom he comes “out,” is determined to keep his sexual identity quiet—that is until they travel to New York and meet Wu’s far more calm and accepting husband Eric, and, more particularly, when the couple decide to have two children, almost simultaneously, through surrogate mothers. The result is a son and daughter, who makes everyone now realize that Wu can never escape being the “best son,” and must return with children and lover in tow to China, mostly to put them on display to an unknowing family, particularly his grandfather.
His mother genuinely and quite touchingly demonstrates the ideals she had for her son, which she cannot comprehend have actually been achieved. As Wu himself describes the situation in China at the time of his upbringing, I could only find one book—obviously an out-of-date American psychology text—that described his desires as psychologically deviant. That he survived the journey in such a repressive society is nearly amazing. Yes, he admits, and the Americanized Eric confirms, he is often angry. But then, why shouldn’t he be?
By film’s end we see that Wu has grown up from his rebellious past to an acceptance of the difficulties of family life, hoping that his own son and daughter will be able to find family love despite its extreme failures. We do perceive that he will attempt to raise these children in a more open and loving way. When asked by his mother, “What will you tell your children when they ask about their mother(s).” he responds: “I will tell them the truth. They have two fathers.” I am sure that is a difficult stretch for a Chinese mother to comprehend. But then it would have been just as difficult, had it happened, for my Midwestern parents. Marion, Iowa and Chengu, China are perhaps not so very far apart as we might imagine.