I chanced upon this movie while searching up on Sun Li and was really excited to watch it since theres Sun Li (screams). Not to mention the movie stars her husband, Deng Chao (The Mermaid) as her love interest. Already the movie looks promising. Initially my expectations for this movie wasn’t very high since I’ve never been a fan of slapstick humour and this is what the movie promised. But I’m glad it ended up exceeding my expectations and I fell in love with both the characters and the movie. (I mean how could you not when its Sun Li?)
The movie follows innocent PhD-holder Zha Xiao Dao (Sun Li) and cunning but illiterate Mo Feili (Deng Chao) team up to collect a debt for a scheming Jesuit Priest.
One of the strongest points about the movie is definitely the acting and of course, the on-screen chemistry between the characters which the movie is heavily reliant on.It took awhile getting used to seeing Sun Li as Zha Xiao Dao since her role as Zhen Huan has taken a permanent place in my heart. But of course that image is slowly shed away as I fall for another of her lovable characters which is the innocent and naive Zha Xiao Dao. Then there’s Deng Chao whom I had my eye on from The Mermaid without knowing he was actually Sun Li’s husband. While his character is mostly annoying but I couldn’t help but like him anyway. Feili is a prick who accuses Xiao Dao of insurance scamming after hitting her with his car but soon develops into a sentimental character who is not as street-smart as he seemed. What I love most about their relationship is how they helped each other to grow, Xiao Dao learns that the world is more than just studying and Feili breaks down his walls and tries to love the world again.
The cinematography is beautiful though not spectacular but then again, it doesn’t have to be. The yellowish tone of the film does irk me though but it sort of adds to the overall mood of the film. Sort of. I think its humour is both the film’s strength and weaknesses. The absurdity and over-the-top acting is not for everyone (and even me, most of the time) but somehow it worked for me. Maybe it was the characters that really pulled me into the film. But more than that, the film delivers not only over-the-top slapstick humour but also heartwarming instances like Deng Chao’s anger at the city’s fast development and Xiao Dao’s broken relationship with her mother. It was so unexpected but adds a layer of depth to the film that most comedies lack. The ending shot is one of my favourites in the entire film for it leaves a peaceful but satisfying end to the film that sets it apart from other comedies. However, I wouldn’t classify this film as a romantic film since the romance was quite subtly hinted even till the end. But I guess that’s what makes it all the more romantic! Sometimes less is more and in this case, less is definitely more.
FYI. If I were to compare this to The Breakup Guru (since both were directed and starred Deng Chao) then I would say this is definitely a much better film than The Breakup Guru, in terms of its characters (never a fan of Yang Mi) and depth.
Directed by: Yu Baimei, Deng Chao
Written by: Yu Baimei
Starring: Sun Li, Deng Chao, Liang Chao, Dai Lele, Xu Kejia, Yang Xinming, Zhao Manzu, Luan Yuanhui, Wang Shuangbao, Wang Yanhui.