The term AMWF popped up only a couple of years ago. Although romantic relationships between Asian men and White women have been in existence since decades ago, it is only recently that the media has given it the attention it deserves. Since our list of top 10 AMWF famous couples did so well, we’re releasing the top 10 AMWF movies list! This is an addition to our last 6 AMWF movie list.
If you are an Asian man dating a White woman or vice versa, it’s always a good idea to watch AMWF movies together on your lazy weekends (we need all the help we can get.)
Here are 10 of our favorite AMWF movies. In no particular order:
- The Big Sick (2017)
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Cast: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan
Director: Michael Sholwalter
Let’s start with the real deal. The Big Sick is loosely based on the real-life romance between a Pakistani man (Nanjiani) and his American girlfriend (Gordon.) This American rom com movie is about an inter-ethnic couple struggling with their cultural clashes.
The story revolves in an orbit of a typical Muslim Pakistani family where the parents are eager to arrange a marriage for their son (Kumail). The son, on the other hand, is in perpetual dread of disobeying them simply because he doesn’t want his parents to disown him.
Gordon’s feisty parents have their fair share of apprehension about their daughter dating an Asian Muslim. The fact that her father asks Kumail what his feelings were on 9/11 doesn’t get any more racist.
This movie has bagged 8 awards, and we just love it that it has managed to challenge stereotypes in the American pop culture.
- Columbus (2017)
Starring: John Cho, Haley Lu Richardson
This movie is a somewhat elegant illustration of the idea of the art, identity, and race of Asian American aesthetics by Kogonada. The serendipitous odd couple pairing of Haley Lu, a Native American girl, and John Cho, a transient outsider is borne out of isolation and circumstance. As a couple, they find themselves with divergent and overlapping dreams and worldviews as a result of their culture, upbringing, and environment.
Although you can see the subtle differences between the two as a result of their differing cultures, this is one of the few AMWF movies that has not succumbed to stereotypes. That said, it is hard to miss the subtle stereotypical projection of Asian men through the film’s play with visibility when presenting the Asian characters.
Jin’s father frequently hides behind his sunglasses and sports a dark tailored suit which is inherently an Asian quality or is something projected on to Asians by Westerners who often consider them strange and enigmatic.
Unlike most AMWF movies, Jin doesn’t struggle because of his hybrid identity, although he bristles under the Korean culture of overworking and dramatic grieving. At the same time, he is working “abroad” in Seoul as an Asian American man and remains a foreigner in the white suburb.
- The Hundred Foot Journey (2014)
Starring: Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal, Charlotte Le Bon
Director: Lasse Hallstrom
Here is a double throttle treat of AMWF couples. The lead characters Hassan (Manish Dayal) and Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon) are not the only AMWF couples. You will see an older couple (played by Helen Mirren and Om Puri) who overcomes their cultural and personal differences and eventually falls in love.
We see how the typical Asian (Kadam) family is run by a patriarch who commonly goes by the name Papa and the white matriarch, Mallory, the proprietor of a French restaurant.
We see two ambitious white females both fighting hard to prioritize their careers over love. When Hassan is offered a job at the suburbs, he asks Marguerite to accompany him, but she refuses. He finally quits his job and comes back to Marguerite, proving his love for her.
- The Lover
Genre: Erotic Drama
Starring: Jane March, Tony Leung
Director: Jean Jacques Annaud
Romance doesn’t always have to come in the form of a rom com. It’s not always that we get to see Asian men in their sexual element, at least not in the mainstream media. The Lover was released back in 1992, but it’s still widely watched till date.
The movie is about Miss Duras’s (the Girl) self searching memoir on an affair that she has as a 15 year old with a wealthy Chinese man (the Man) 27 years old. The movie reverses the role (White as superior) and presents this white girl as a poverty-stricken pretty waif and the Chinese man as a powerful man of wealth and oozing with dominant sex appeal.
There isn’t much dialogue or plot for that matter, except for a series of alternately passionate and diffident couplings in a private room in one of Saigon’s Chinese quarters.
- The Spy Next Door
Genre: American Comedy
Starring: Amber Valletta, Jackie Chan, Billy Ray Cyrus, Magnus Scheving, Madeline Carroll, George Lopez
Director: Brian Levant
Asian men kicking ass with their Kung fu is not a new thing. But it’s quite rare to see these Kung Fu fighters protecting white women and kids. We have our famous Jackie Chan (Bob Ho) with his lightning fast reflexes and funny choreography-like fight moves. But this movie is different in the sense that his romantic interest is a white lady (Gillian).
It’s not rare for white girls to have an apprehensive family when she brings home an Asian guy just like the way Gillia’s kids Farren, Ian and Nora sneer at Bob Ho. Gillian suddenly has to go out of town for an emergency and Bob volunteers to babysit the kids in the hopes of winning them over.
This is a great pick for a family movie night. It’s time to introduce your kids to AMWF relationships so they can be more accepting of it. Grab some popcorn and watch your kids laugh over Jackie Chan bust some Russian villains along with the help of some white kids.
- The Crimson Kimono (1959)
Genre: Film Noir
Starring: Victoria Shaw, Glenn Corbett, James Shigeta
Director: Samuel Fuller
This film was way ahead of its time, starting from the blaring poster to ideas about how the society perceives race.
Fuller portrays a forbidden but promising love between two people from different races at an age when institutionalized racism was legalized. This daring film teases taboo-smashing thrills and titillation for viewers who are bored by the banality of the suburban white-picket fence entertainment during the 1950s in America.
The Crimson Kimono is about two Korean War veterans, Detective Sgt. Bancroft (Corbett) and Detective Joe Kojaku (Shigeta) who works on the murder case of a local entertainer. The fun begins when a love triangle develops between the two leads and one of the witnesses, Christine (Victoria).
- The Edge of Seventeen
Genre: Comedy-drama coming-of-age
Starring: Woody Harrelson, Hailee Steinfeld, Haley Lu Richardson, Kyra Sedgwick
Director: Kelly Fremon Craig
We just love the 2016 teen movie called The Edge of Seventeen starring Hailee Steinfeld (Nadine) and Hayden Szeto (Erwin). This movie is dear to the AMWF community because it features a refreshingly unstereotypical portrayal of an Asian male protagonist in a teen flick. Kudos to Hayden for his breakout role as Erwin Kim, making it a must-see AMWF movie.
The movie manages to show a classic story on a teenager coming of age without using outdated tropes and stereotypes of the genre. If you are looking for a good teen flick with a positive portrayal of Asian male protagonists, this is the one.
- Ae Fond Kiss
Genre: Romantic drama
Starring: Eva Birthistle and Atta Yaqub
Director: Ken Loach
In the world of AMWF movies, Ae Fond Kiss is where cultures collide with so much drama and romance. A white Irish Catholic lady named Roisin (Eva Birthistle) and a Pakistani Muslim called Casim (Atta Yaqub) fall in love in Glasgow, right before he was to get into an arranged marriage with his cousin.
Many intercultural and interracial couples will be able to relate to the familiar territory of prejudice and pushback from family and friends. You will also enjoy the undeniable chemistry between the Roisin and Casim and some generous dose of behind-closed-door passion.
- A Great Wall
Starring: Peter Wang, Sharon Iwai, Kelvin Han Yee
Director: Peter Wang
This is another classic released in 1986. It narrates the journey of a Chinese American family who were visiting their relatives in Beijing. This movie is special because it was the first ever American film that was shot in China.
The movie also marks a landmark in the AMWF history because the scene where Kelvin kisses a white girl on the couch was one of the first ever movies to show a white girl and Asian guy doing just that. This movie is also one of a kind for showing an Asian character as the alpha male, shattering the despicable stereotype that Asian men are emasculated.
- Japanese Story
Genre: Romantic drama
Starring: Gotaro Tsunashima, Toni Collette
Director: Sue Brooks
Released in 2003, Japanese Story is a quiet romantic drama. Much of the movie takes place in a desert where Hiromitsu (Tsunashima Gotaro) and Sandy (Collette Toni) a workaholic geologist falls in love with each other.
Initially, the AMWF pair is repulsed by each other because of their cultural difference, which leads to mutual derision and misunderstanding. On their way to the destination, their car gets stuck in the mud, and they are forced to spend the night together. A lot happens during this incident, and they emerge a couple after the experience.