Watching a Chinese movie can be a painful experience. I have endured this pain in the past, but yesterday’s movie was just too much, so I have decided to write an account of it as a therapeutic measure.
Love, like many other Chinese movies, looks more like a commercial (BMW, Häagen Dazs, etc) than a real love story. The title suggests the movie is going to be about love, but the relationships between the characters never tell us why they like each other.
For example, there is the character RouYi, interpreted by the beautiful Taiwanese actress ShuQi. The movie starts with RouYi meeting a handsome guy in a hotel in Taipei. After having an argument and ending their relationship, RouYi leaves the hotel room and meets another man, apparently her real boyfriend, and she tells him that they should get married. But as the movie progresses we realize RouYi is not happy with this man, who by the way also seems to cheats on her on a frequent basis. We also learn she has never worked, and she has been dating different rich men throughout her life. But suddenly (we are not told why) she is not happy with this man and falls in love with a teenager she meets on the street. This guy is not rich, intelligent, smart or interesting. He is just a random guy who is sweet to her, and so, a gorgeous looking woman who is used to extreme wealth suddenly decides to leave everything and start a new relationship with this dumb looking guy. Very simple, but apparently Chinese audiences don’t need much more.
However, this story is quite credible compared to that of Akai. Akai is a 1.82m tall, tanned athletic looking guy (just like the other two protagonists of the movie), who is very in love with her girlfriend, XiaoNi. But accidents happen, and he ends up kissing, and having sex, and not using a condom with his girlfriend’s best friend YiJia. YiJia is very sorry about it (although in the “sex scene” she looks like a starving tiger when jumping over her best friend’s boyfriend), but she has the great idea of continuing with the pregnancy. You know, she has no job, and she does not love Akai, and raising the baby would make things even weirder with her best friend. But all that is ok, since she is a traditional girl and traditional girls don’t abort.
Another memorable scene of the movie is when XiaoNi, the one cheated, tells her father that he could help hundreds of poor African boys by donating the big amount of money he spends every night on expensive wines. So far so good. However her sense of social justice doesn’t seem to trouble her for long, since right afterwards we see her driving a brand new convertible BMW.
Finally, there’s the story between Mark and XiaoYe, interpreted by the popular actress Vicky Zhao. This story is actually not TOO ridiculous. It is about a very successful and attractive young guy who falls in love with an average good looking and not very successful girl. I would develop this story farther, but there is really not much to tell.
And that’s it. I recommend next time you want to go to the theater to watch a Chinese movie you either think twice about it or bring lots of alcohol that could make the experience more bearable.