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Each generation has a defining high school basketball picture to call its own (One on One, Love and Basketball, Above the Rim, etc.). The dialogue may coarsen, the off-court violence intensify, and the ethnicity of its lead may fluctuate over time, but the events outlined in the narrative basically remain the same, right down to the differing parents, compulsory teen love angle, and/or championship games that closes each picture. Not having seen the poster, at what point do we know this is a coming of age story? Just before Boogie’s (Taylor Takahashi) English teacher assigns Catcher in the Rye, he informs his class that each student is currently inhabiting their own coming-of-age story. But as far as temperamental Boogie and his contemporaries can tell, Asians are second-class citizens living in a country steeped in resentment. He seconds the rancor of his parent’s generation: his people have earned their place in the kitchen or behind an accountant’s desk, but when it comes to team sports, they’re the last to be picked. Boogie stands above it all. Voted best in-city, it’s a wonder he can dribble with a chip the size of the Great Wall teetering on his shoulder. As always, it’s the differences that keep us watching: for once, the reconciliatory romance casts the star athlete, not the head cheerleader, in the role of virgin. And while Boogie’s parents are at constant loggerheads when it comes to securing a scholarship, watching them spar is far more engaging than anything that takes place on the court. But after a series of fits and starts, the tipping point was reached with a romantic rivalry that caused first time writer-director Eddie Huang to take his eye off the ball. (2021) — Scott Marks

Rated R | 1 hour, 29 minutes
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Edwards Mira Mesa
10733 Westview Parkway, San Diego, 858-635-7716 | Directions
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Monday, April 12
2:40pm, 7:55pm
Tuesday, April 13
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Wednesday, April 14
2:40pm, 7:55pm
Thursday, April 15
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