The Chinese female engineer and restaurant couple in Keeping up with the Joneses

The Chinese female engineer and Chinese restaurants are all well received.

Engineer and Chinese restaurant owner may be two of the most popular careers for Chinese in America to make a living. As engineers, American Chinese are smart, capable, and industrious. They are well established in many high technology fields. In Silicon Valley, for example, you will see many Chinese young people in T-shirt and with glasses who are programmers and engineers of local major technology companies. They are from Beijing University, Tsinghua University, Stanford University, and other schools, representing the Chinese power in the global innovation sanctuary. The Chinese female engineer in the film might imply the Chinese girl Gao Xingxin who deciphered Beidou satellite signal coding program for the American research institute.

There are about 4,000 Chinese restaurants in America, almost three times the number of McDonald’s stores, even some remote town of less than 1,000 citizens. There are advantages for Chinese to run the restaurant business, for example, low cost, good taste, high profit, trade in cash, and well-received. Furthermore, there are many Chinese in this industry, and they can look after each other. The Chinese restaurants, most of which are family managed, always hire the immigrants who will just stay for months as workers.

For most American Chinese, there are no mechanisms for changing the decision to come to America. In fact, the superficially glamorous American Chinese suffer more than the general public. As the immigrant life continuously fosters all kinds of disappointments, people naturally consider other way out of immigration to the United States. The growing economy in some parts of China gives people more choices, and the temptation to work in America is fading

There are few American films that refer to Chinese female engineer and restaurant owner synchronously. But here we get Keeping up with the Joneses, a 2016 American action comedy film directed by Greg Mottola and written by Michael LeSieur, Starring Zach Galifianakis, Jon Hamm, Isla Fisher and Gal Gadot. The film follows a suburban couple (Galifianakis and Fisher) who begin to suspect their new neighbors (Hamm and Gadot) are spies. And really the new neighbors are spies; together they defeat the agents who endanger the safety of the United States.

The contradictory state of mind of Americans.

It is very interesting to observe to two roles, the Chinese female engineer and Chinese restaurant couple, in the film to figure the film maker’s true conception of the film.

Anywhere there are humans, there are Chinese. Anywhere there are Chinese, there are Chinese restaurants. For most Chinese who newly immigrate to America, their first jobs start from Chinese restaurants that provide free food and shelter for them. For many immigrant Chinese families, to run a Chinese restaurant is the most direct and effective way to solve the problem of survival. There is no other rigid demand like food and beverage consumption, so it is easy to thrive in the business world. Cooking skills are not professional skills, but survival skills, which lowers the entry threshold. The food and beverage industry have a lot of slack in investment, and the trade is in cash, and it can solve the family’s most fundamental problem of eating. Factors mentioned above make it common for Chinese to run a restaurant, especially those who have difficulties in language and good skills. It is nothing surprising that American would always ask the first-met Chinese if he runs a restaurant for a long time.

Chinese restaurants are so popular that Chinese restaurant culture has become an integral part of American culture, and even most Americans have to admit that they can’t imagine the life without Chinese restaurants. The film wants to show the popularity of Chinese restaurant.

The first generation of American Chinese was the generation of sacrifice who sacrificed their deserved enjoyment for the family happiness. The second generation got good education in America, and they went high school, or college. They felt just like a fish in water with the fluent English. They were able to achieve success one way or another. The third or the fourth generation completely got rid of the image of restaurant owners. They become American social elite. Unconsciously and surprisingly, the American Chinese seem to go to the high society overnight. Nowadays, you can see Chinese in all walks of life, including congressman, government departments at all levels, and even Federal Ministers, not to say engineers in high tech companies.

American society must adapt the change of identity of American Chinese. And contribution made by Chinese to the American society should be acknowledged.

Further, we can see a little unease about the increasingly powerful China. Just like the American Chinese who always run Chinese restaurants but unknowingly appear in the high-class society. China is imperceptibly powerful and people get some kind of fear. People and nations all will get strong, you have to adapt it. As to whether it is good or bad, it depends.