Lucky Grandma: a granny, a heist, and luck

Tsai Chin in Lucky Grandma

Lucky Grandma stars Tsai Chin as a chain smoking, cash hauling, beleaguered grandma. She lives in New York’s Chinatown and cycles through a series of lucky/unlucky events that almost get her murdered.

Lucky Grandma was directed by first time feature director Sasie Sealy. Sealy showed a steady hand with both humor and action in this oddball tale.

Grandma’s husband just died. He left her absolutely zero. After 40 years together working hard every day, she has nothing. And she’s mad.

Her son wants her to come live with his family. She wants to be independent.

The soothsayer tells her September 28 will be her lucky day. She withdraws her entire bank balance, hops on the bus, and heads for the casino on Sept. 28.

She wins big. BIG!

Then she loses it all. ALL!

On the bus ride home, the man seated next to her dies. DEAD! He was carrying a duffel bag stuffed with hundred dollar bills. She takes the money home, amazed at her luck.

There’s one small problem. The money belongs to the Chinese gang, Red Dragon. They want it back. They send tough guys to get it. Grandma plays dumb. She’s not giving anybody that money. She’s keeping it and she’s buying a new light fixture for her apartment with it, by golly!

Hsiao-Yuan Ha and Tsai Chin in Lucky Grandma

Grandma goes to a different gang. She wants to hire a bodyguard. The good bodyguard is too expensive. She hires the discount bodyguard, a gentle giant of a man named Big Pong (Hsiao-Yuan Ha).

Big Pong is a decent bodyguard. He’s dedicated to the job and based on sheer size alone he’s good protection. But things don’t go well in spite of her protection. People get hurt (DEAD), Grandma’s family is threatened, bad luck and good luck cycle through her life in rapid order.

This black comedy ends with one kind of good luck. Maybe luck comes in different varieties? You can rent this delightful film on Prime Video or YouTube. I watched it free using my public library’s Hoopla app.

If you watch Lucky Grandma, I’d love to hear what you thought of it.

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