In the novel, The Joy Luck Club, by Amy Tan, four Chinese women are drawn together in San Francisco to play mah jong, and tell stories of the past. These four women and their families reside in Chinatown and belong to the First Baptist Church. This is how the Woo's, Hsu's, the Jong's and the St. Clair's met in 1949. Subsequent to reading the novel, one would be more or less afraid to view the movie. Often times, novels later made into films are severely butchered and disappointing. Many people frequently feel enraged after watching the film adaptation of their favorite book. Once the moviegoer has been previously acquainted with the printed word, he/she has already developed preconceptions regarding characters, plot, and atmosphere of the book, and hence measures the film version against prior expectations. This however is not the case when comparing Amy Tan's novel The Joy Luck Club alongside Wayne Wang's film adaptation. Movie director, Wayne Wang brilliantly combines literary and motion picture devices to create a wonderful masterpiece. His film does not destruct, abuse or hinder Amy Tan's novel, yet simply enhances it.
Avid readers might argue that in the twenty- first century, moviegoers are in search of pure entertainment causing film directors to go to great lengths to provide this commodity. Yet, the need for entertainment does not threaten Tan's already entertaining and captivating Joy Luck Club. The novels easy-flowing, poetic language remains very much apart of the film. Though Wang slightly alters the novel's plot, the changes occur without damage to the novel. Like the book, the film clearly expresses the gap between both generations, brought about by cultural misunderstanding, language barriers, and differing values. However, the film is more encouraging in that it concludes with an explicit reconciliation between the mothers and their Americanized daughters.