‘Shortcomings’ Trailer: Randall Park’s Directorial Debut Captures a Film Buff’s Rock Bottom

Randall Park is fresh off his directorial debut.

The “Fresh Off the Boat” sitcom star and “Always Be My Maybe” actor helmed millennial coming-of-age “Shortcomings,” starring Justin H. Min. The film, written by Adrian Tomine and based on Tomine’s 2007 graphic novel of the same name, also stars Sherry Cola, Ally Maki, Debby Ryan, Tavi Gevinson, Sonoya Mizuno, Jacob Batalon, and Timothy Simons.

In “Shortcomings,” Ben (Min), a struggling filmmaker, lives in Berkeley, California, with his girlfriend, Miko (Cola), who works for a local Asian American film festival. When he’s not managing an arthouse movie theater as his day job, Ben spends his time obsessing over unavailable blonde women, watching Criterion Collection DVDs, and eating in diners with his best friend Alice (Maki), a queer grad student with a serial dating habit. When Miko moves to New York for an internship, Ben is left to his own devices, and begins to explore what he thinks he might want. 

“Shortcomings” premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival and went on to play at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. Director Park told IndieWire at Sundance that the film adaptation had been in the works for 15 years since the graphic novel debuted.

“I first fell in love with [the book] when it came out back in 2007. And I always wanted to see it as a movie,” Park said. “I was around the same age as Ben. And I was like, ‘Gosh, I’d love to play Ben. That would be so cool.’ But that was never going to be made into a movie at that time especially. Just over the years, I just kept thinking about that book and then found out that Adrian had written a script and they were looking for directors. I made a pitch because I was so passionate about the material and I had been thinking about it as a movie for so long that I came up with this elaborate pitch and joined the project and brought my production company along. It just felt like it all came together magically, a lot of serendipity.”

“Shortcomings” premieres August 4 in theaters from Sony Pictures Classics. Check out the trailer below.

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