From the image above of the cast you can see that the story was culturally specific to Chinese people…..death and how it is met as each of us must do. During the film the Chinese culturally accepted approach of keeping the prognoses from the dying person is contrasted with the western way of sharing each and every detail of the upcoming event and approaching suffering.
The film is advertised as a comedy and there are lots of smiles and even polite chuckles . I got the feeling the serious , reserved Chinese don’t belly laugh often or at all but doesn’t mean they are humorless.
For me, thinking of our government negotiating over tariffs with China, it would be fine to learn from them about the celebration of life which is the family’s last gift to their loved one. In this case the matriarch. The eldest son tries to explain the Chinese culture to his daughter who is thoroughly westernized;
“She (your grandma) carried all of us through joy and sorrow. Now it is our turn to carry her through her time of death by shielding her from the truth.
As stated at the beginning of the credits, “This Film Is Based Upon A Lie”. A lie yes, forbidden in all the world’s religions, but a lie told in celebration and love for which forgiveness is given, I hope!