HKMDB Daily News

March 24, 2009

If You Are the One (Hollywood Reporter review)

Filed under: Reprints — Tags: , , , — dleedlee @ 4:53 pm

If You Are the One
3/23/2009 by Maggie Lee

HONG KONG — After expanding his range into the lavish palace saga (”The Banquet”) and war drama (”The Assembly”), China boxoffice king Feng Xiaogang makes an assured return to his trademark genre, the romantic comedy. “If You Are the One,” a diverting urban lark about an unlikely couple coming together through blind dates, sports an affable cast and untaxing plot, harking back to the airy playfulness of his 1998 hit “Be There or Be Square.”

Released in China as one of the key year-end festive films, “If You Are the One” made about $53.7 million. Overseas sales reached far beyond the expected Chinese-speaking markets, though North Americans will probably see it on DVD. Westerners wishing to get a taste of mainstream Chinese cinema will be pleasantly surprised.

As in Feng’s other films, Ge You’s presence is as indispensable as a mascot, mastering Feng’s brand of clever one-liners with dead-on timing and a droll mixture of cockiness and self-deprecation. He plays Qin Fen, a U.S. emigre who wants to get married in his native Beijing. He advertises on love personals, emphasizing: “Only sincere ones need apply” — which is the film’s Chinese title. Yet sincerity is the one quality missing from his disastrous dates with an assortment of women who come armed with an arsenal of ulterior motives.

Like some of the blind date gags in “Must Love Dogs,” these encounters have their rib-tickling moments (such as one girl trying to sell graveyard plots on the date), but the culturally specific situations and wordplay lose some flavor in translation.

Qin meets flight attendant Smiley (Shu Qi) and is instantly smitten. Amusingly, he wraps his compliments in layers of sarcasm and mock insincerity. Smiley, it turns out, is languishing in a no-hope affair with a married man. They get sloshed and confide their painful pasts to each other. This is one point when the film engages on a heartfelt emotional level.

Eventually, Smiley decides to move on in life and asks Qin to go to Hokkaido, Japan with her to help her get over her lover. “Red Cliff” cinematographer Lu Yue captures outdoor locations as lovely as the pages of an in-flight magazine. The introduction of Qin’s old friend and tour guide brings out themes of male friendship and midlife loneliness. However, neither this nor Qin’s continuing comic antics relates much to the emotional arc of the journey, making the last leg of the romance feel like a road movie with too many detours.

Shu Qi and Ge You share a cozy camaraderie even if they are as flirtatious as two iguanas having a siesta. Unlike a typical romance, there is no defining moment when love is consummated. The pragmatist wisdom that prevails in the last scene takes the love story out of its initial escapist realm.

Huayi Brothers Media Corp./Media Asia Films Ltd. in association with China Film Co-Production Corp.
Cast: Ge You, Shu Qi, Alex Fong, Vivian Hsu.
Director/screenwriter: Feng Xiaogang.
Story: Chen Kuofu.
Producers: Wang Zhongjun, John Chong.
Executive producers: Chen Kuofu, Hu Xiaofeng, Wang Zhonglie.
Director of photography: Lu Yue.
Art director: Shi Haiying
Music: Ching Liu Ray
Costume designer: Man Lim Chung.
Editor: Liu Miaomiao, Xiao Yang.
Sales: Huayi Brothers Media Corp.
No rating, 130 minutes
THR

Feng LiFeng Li
Actor Feng Li embroiled in ‘Adding Fat Gate’.
For his health and career development, Feng writes in his blog that he does not want to be always the fat actor. After graduating from university, Feng Li gained 70 catties (1 catty= .6kg, so 80lbs?) for his debut in Peacock. After completing the film, he tried to lose weight for a year and a half. During this time, he suffered hypoglycemia and dizzy spells. Feng’s doctor has advised him to lose weight. “I also want to lose weight. Being fat is very laborious.” However, his management agency has contracted Feng not to weigh less then 110 kilos. According to his agreement, if he falls below 110 kilos, Feng will get a letter from the lawyers. His agency fears if he loses too much weight that he would no longer be recognizable.


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Best actress went to China’s Zhou Xun, who played a taxi driver searching for her boyfriend in “The Equation of Love and Death.”
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Patrick Tse and Jennifer Tse

 
Brigitte Lin!
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Brigitte Lin, Tsui Hark and Nansun Shi
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A couple of violent scenes had to be revised.


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Wong recalled that in 1993, 300 movies were in production at any given time compared to just 50 today.


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Edison Chen and father

2002 family photo
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A pirated sex disc with Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi’s photos on its cover is a hot favorite in the Hong Kong piracy market. Besides the beach photos that paparazzi took of her last year, in the disc are five other sex video clips unrelated to her.

A Hong Kong reporter found the disc which is currently retailing at HK$30 (about S$6) in the Hong Kong piracy market. Zhang’s beach photos, taken by paparazzi and breached privacy rights, were used unscrupulously to solicit business.

The disc is exquisitely packaged in two layers of wrapper, a colored cardboard cover and a transparent case. Printed on the cover are her portraits and six classic photos in the beach series, in fine prints are the words “Zhang Ziyi Nude Photos”. The inside cover also has a short summary of about 100 hundred words on Zhang’s series of topless photos disseminated on the Internet.

81 photos of Zhang frolicking on a Caribbean beach with her boyfriend Vivi Nevo while they were on a holiday in January 2009 spread like wild fire on China websites. The photos showed Zhang baring her top and lying on the beach for a sunbath while Vivi “buried” his head into her butt.

A custom spokesperson said they will follow up with investigations should the copyrights owner of the photos decide to file a complaint. When found guilty, the infringer may be sentenced to a maximum of four years imprisonment and receive a fine of HK$50,000 for each infringed material. According to previous reports, an anonymous man has paid an astronomical price to buy the exclusive copyrights of these photos in Taiwan, Japan, Korea and America. For three months between Jan 9 to Apr 9, media in the four countries are not allowed to buy or publish the related photos. It was not reported if copyrights of the photos were bought in Hong Kong.

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[One previous article indicated that Mark Cheng seemed to fit the profile which was more detailed]

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