REVIEWS

"Tan's gift as a filmmaker is to convey the inner lives of his
characters in such a generous, empathetic manner that we
are filled with a genuine sense of dismay and alarm in the face of their problems. 'Happy Birthday' is, in the usual dry run of gay movies, A WORK OF INTELLIGENCE AND DEEP EMOTIONAL SENSIBILITY."
Michael Bronski, THE GUIDE

"YEN TAN HAS ACCOMPLISHED AN ACHIEVEMENT OF DIVERSITY IN HIS VISION. He directs the proceedings with the right amount of artistry to prevent this from being just another pompous trip to the Art Theater House. His staging of scenes is particularly inventive. Working on a shoe string budget, Tan has mastered the art of using less as more. In terms of direction, cinematography and style, he does have a poetic one that does not get in the way of the performances."
Kurt von Behrmann, metroG

"BEAUTIFULLY SHOT WITH A FINELY ATTUNED SCORE
AND WISE EDITING, it's Tan's simple screenplay with his
unobtrusive direction that show the most promise
for future success. Cutting from one angst-filled moment
to another, Tan has created an honest exploration of
what it is to be gay and have more on your mind than
creatine, Ellen's talk show, and Queer Eye
on the Straight Butt."
Brandon Judell, NEW YORK THEATRE WIRE REVIEW

"QUITE A COMPLICATED PROJECT FOR EVEN THE MOST
SEASONED DIRECTOR, Yen Tan deserves all the honors
the film has received from film festivals worldwide for
managing to tackle different issues cohesively."
Tim Putnam, METROLINE

"The ensemble cast has many unique and down-to-earth
characters, allowing the viewer to easily identify with at
least one of them in the film. They have a humanlike
touch and are OFTEN MOVING AND COMPELLING
at the same time."
Stacey Jay Cavaliere, ECHO MAGAZINE

"A WELL-ACTED, INTELLIGENT ACHIEVEMENT,
MIXING GAY AND LESBIAN ISSUES WITH PERSONAL ISSUES OF LOVE AND ACCEPTANCE. It captures a diverse group of people at various stages of their queer lives in a way that many gay films aren't able to accomplish."
Mekado Murphy, DALLAS VOICE

"AN AMAZINGLY ASSURED DRAMA centering around five
very different people who share the same birthday as
well as varying problems of self-acceptance,
family tensions and unrequited love. A fascinating, at
times familiary unsettling look at issues facing people in
general, and gay and lesbians in particular as
they attempt to navigate the rapid waters of life."
Ray Murray, PHILLYFESTS.COM

"Yen Tan's feature film debut is admittedly low-budget
from the beginning. Still, this story of five strangers
preparing to celebrate the birthday they happen to share
MANAGES TO TAP INTO SOME UNIVERSAL ELEMENTS OF
THE HUMAN CONDITION. THE CHARACTERS SUCCEED
BECAUSE OF THEIR FRAILTY. As their separate stories
are woven together, common threads emerge: themes
of loneliness, trust, acceptance."
Leila Ely, PHILADELPHIA WEEKLY

"Yen Tan's directorial debut is a QUIET, SENSITIVE, AND
IN MANY REGARDS, MASTERFUL WORK about five
people in crisis. A rare film - astutely directed with
assured performances - that causes viewers to
reflect on their own lives."
John Campos, SENSORY PERCEPTIONS

"PACKS A POWERFUL PUNCH! I found it difficult to
suppress my own emotion, and I imagine most
audience members will likewise. It may be a gay
film, but unlike most movies in that genre,
its themes are purely human."
David Lowery, WRITER/DIRECTOR

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