JULY 30, 2021
USA | 13 minutes | 2017

Comedy, fantasy short film directed by Elaine Chu
Starring Jade Law, Tadamori Yagi, Dawn Anderson


Vivienne just got dumped. Her cat is in love with her next door neighbor. Life is strange, especially when you toss in a magical fortune cookie.

A short film about cats, love, and moving on.

Elaine Chu’s Maneki-neko is a hilariously original comedy that explores breakups and heartbreaks and the magic of fortune cookies (à la the 2003 film, Freaky Friday). The film shows the universal cycle of despair we all experience when faced with grief and sudden change.

After Vivienne (Jade Law) is dumped by her boyfriend, she has a hard time moving on. Nothing she does seems to help. After a depressing night of eating Chinese takeout alone, finishing off the meal with a fortune cookie, she wakes up the next morning to find that her cat, Noodle, has transformed into a human (Dawn Anderson). Soon, she becomes occupied with training her cat to be a human and is no longer preoccupied by her heartbreak. Noodle then meets Vivienne’s neighbor, Paul (Tadamori Yagi), and the two fall in love, setting off the cycle once again.

Everything from the writing to the pacing and acting are excellent, making the story fun, full of twists, and in some ways cathartic. It’s a good reminder that time does help us heal as we learn to move on and let go.

Maneki-neko is one of the many great projects shared with CineAsian Films through our submissions process. If you’d like to join them, submit your film.


Director, Writer: Elaine Chu
Producer: Brian Sounalath
Cinematographer: Teline Guerra
Editor: Andrew Cohen
Music by: Thomas Delcarpio, Nick Lazzaro

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