This has not been a happy year for “Love is not blind.” Not only did its record for highest grossing mainland film got broken by both “Journey to the West” and “Lost in Thailand,” but even in the rom-com category, it got overtaken by “Finding Mr.Right/Beijing meets Seattle,” the second project by director-writer Xue Xiaolu (Ocean Heaven). The new film starring Tang Wei, Wu Xiubo and Haiqing. has so far amassed 400 million RMB (over $ 60 million), and is still on the trajectory to grow with its position as the highest selling film of the day.
Edmund Lee of the Screen Daily gives a pretty good recap of the fun comedy.
In it, Tang plays Jiajia, a materialistic prima donna who is temporarily staying in Seattle – presumably because she’s a huge fan of the Nora Ephron movie – to give birth to the child of her rich, married lover in Beijing. When her plan to check into a maternity centre goes awry, however, she’s instead taken by her hired driver Frank (veteran TV actor Wu Xiubo, dutifully wooden) to a small home run by a friend of his, the Taiwanese caretaker Mrs Huang (Elaine Jin).
As her (off-screen) boyfriend continually fails to shrug off either his wife or the criminal investigations into his possibly shady business, the lonely Jiajia soon discovers the loving side of Frank, who was once a famous doctor in Beijing before moving to the US and being divorced by his more financially competent wife, an inconvenient truth that he’s been keeping from his young daughter and grieving silently ever since.
Directing from her own script, Xue has come up with a conventional yet surprisingly delightful rom-com, at once filled with authentically written supporting characters and some gently humorous sequences, including several that mischievously toy with Jiajia’s limited knowledge in English.
Amid the predictable story trajectory which sees the budding couple respectively recover from their unfortunate romantic past, readjust their focuses in life and finally meet up again for their purely coincidental romantic resolution at you-know-where, it’s Tang’s immense likeability in her alternately sassy and vulnerable role that holds it all together. Finding Mr. Right thrives on the effortless charisma of its lead actress.