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Film Reivew: "Finding Mr. Right"

2013-04-02 13:21:50        Chinese Films
Everything in Finding Mr Right happens so conveniently for the main character. In her twisted path toward true love and redemption, things fall into place without her really having to go through much pain or turmoil. It creates an equally carefree and empty experience for viewers.

The film became an instant hit since its March 21 premiere in China, mostly because of its lead actors, Tang Wei, who has been the subject of controversy thanks to her all-nude appearance in the 2007 movie Lust, Caution, and Wu Xiubo, who acted in the 2012 hit TV medical drama Angel Heart.

In the movie, Tang plays Wen Jiajia, a young mistress of a rich businessman who goes to an illegal birthing center in Seattle, Washington. At first, Wen is obnoxious, arrogant and thinks money can buy everything. However, a couple of months later, the wife finds out about the affair and Wen's credit cards are frozen. At this point, the birthing center's driver, Frank (played by Wu) offers help and makes her think twice about who her Mr Right really is.

The appearance of a mistress in the beginning might turn off some viewers. This subject has become so commonplace in Chinese TV that it borders on cliché. The exaggerated acting by Tang to portray Wen's materialism and arrogance is simply brilliant, but on the other hand, it also makes her character's about-face later in the film harder to believe.

After Wen loses all her money and is left in the hands of Frank for the rest of her pregnancy, she begins to sell her famous brand-name bags and scrub her landlord's bathrooms for money. It's hard to believe Wen learned her lesson when viewers see so little suffering and regret over what she had done: intruding into someone else's marriage for her own benefit.

Everything ends up turning around for Wen, a bit too neatly. Loose ends are tied, divorces are finalized and everyone lives happily ever after.

It's a beautiful fairy tale for anyone who's just looking for a love story. Tang dons a gorgeous wardrobe of dresses, including a memorable strappy, floor-length dress with a loud, orange floral print that swings with her every move. Wu's role of a loving, giving father and an older, wiser gentleman is attractive to the female audience as well. The gleaming outline of Seattle at night and its blue skies by day also add visual impact.

The film should be complimented for touching on important social issues, such as illegal birthing centers in the US and lesbians (played by Hai Qing) using sperm donors to conceive children. Targeted mainly for a Chinese audience, the topic of extramarital affairs isn't new, but the angle of having children in the US hasn't been presented much.

All in all, everything in the movie goes Wen's way, and she didn't even have to fight for it. Love, life, happiness: these are things worth fighting for. Part of me wanted to see her suffer a little bit for her redemption, but I was left sorely disappointed.

Finding Mr Right pays tribute to one of my favorite movies of all times, Sleepless in Seattle. However, I'm sad to say, despite the excellent acting, Wu and Tang didn't leave my heart touched and wanting more as Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks did.

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