||After the successful independent features about Chinese-American life DIM SUM and EAT A BOWL OF TEA, director Wayne Wang took on the daunting task of adapting Amy Tan's sprawling, multigenerational best-seller THE JOY LUCK CLUB. After her mother's death, June (Ming-Na Wen) is asked to take her place in a mahjong club. The three other members, like her mother, were all born in China before the 1949 revolution. When June learns that she has two half sisters in China, she plans a trip to meet them. With this catalyst, the women begin to tell stories, not just about but their own mothers and their lives in China, but also about their often strained relationships with their Americanized daughters. The flashbacks to China are dramatic, and the stories are heartbreaking. As the film progresses, June learns about a culture that's supposedly her own but that she can touch only through the commonality of the mother-daughter bond. It is this nexus that makes the movie work. There are multiple points of view, but they are always connected by the universal desire for one generation of women to pass on their hopes for a better life to their daughters. This feeling, without being cloying or overly sentimental, underlines the emotional tales in this moving, well-acted, and beautifully staged drama.