If a “good friend” invites you to the theater to watch the recently released Forever Love, don’t be surprised if it’s followed up with a proposal — or several. The movie, also known as 201314, gets its name from the corresponding date, i.e. 2013 January 4. In Chinese, the numerals (er ling yi san yi si) sound similar to “love you for life” (ai ni yi sheng yi shi), causing January 4, 2013 to become a prime date for proposals, weddings, and general proclamations of love.
The plot of Forever Love revolves around three couples and a series of stories that occurs between Singles Day (11/11) and “Love You For Life” Day. Fresh out of a break-up, Wen Xin (Gina Jin) meets Wen Xiaogu (Guo Xiaoran) at a nightclub, and the two get into an interesting relationship after a wine spill incident. We also follow two of Wen Xin’s close female friends and their love entanglements. The cast is mostly made up of unknown or newbie actors, but 8090 fans will want to check this one out for hottie Jiang Chao.
Behind the cut: the movie’s theme song, sung by He Jie, as well as some simple but pretty stills.
The movie’s theme song: “201314,” by He Jie. Thanks to 一枚 小清新 at YouTube.
Many couples seem to have taken the movie’s theme — “bravely express your love” — to heart, planning proposals not only at the movie showings, but also at the press conferences. Some people even booked entire movie theaters in order to propose to the love of their lives. Select movie theaters have also featured special promotions, such as having different ticket prices for couples or sending romantic gifts, as well as lining up showtimes at 13:14 (yi sheng yi shi — for life) and 5:20 (wo ai ni — I love you).
Forever Love may be just a simple romcom, but it’s proven popular among the young population, which made up 70% of the audience when the movie premiered on New Years Day. Although initial ticket sales were lower than expected, due to powerhouses like Lost In Thailand and CZ12 getting more media attention, word of mouth helped Forever Love soar to first place when January 4th rolled around, where it brought in 5 million yuan in a single day. Because of heavy demand, many theaters planned additional showings, and one theater in Beijing had to put chairs in the theater at the last minute to accommodate viewers.