Was it the best of times or the worst of times? Despite sharply divided opinions on its quality, movie Tiny Times 1.0, with its controversial author/writer/director Guo Jingming and leads Yang Mi, Kai Ko, Amber Kuo, etc., was a commercial success. Most recently, Part 2 was moved up to air on the Qixi holiday on August 7th, while plans to adapt Tiny Times 2.0 has been approved by SARFT’s reviewing comittee.
As the film that broke the single day screening share rate (almost 50%) and opening day record for a 2D film, breaking 300 million RMB in four days, Tiny Times was viewed as an opening commercial success. Yet its viewers ratings varied from 8.6 on Gewara to 4.9 on Mtime on opening day. People Daily wrote three articles on Tiny Times. Meanwhile China Daily film critic Raymond Zhao smashed it and its readers, comparing it to the Twilight series in the U.S. Too materialistic, too flashy, not deep enough, were all attacks of China’s young generation discussed in criticisms on of the film. Similarly, the success of such commercial films, just like the successes of Guo Jingming’s very commercial books, were viewed as almost an affront to the film industry, which has historically prided itself on nuanced arthouse works.
Tiny Times cast goofs off in the ending extras MV
To me, like idol dramas that broke away realistic depictions of the working class, Tiny Times represents recent films such as Sophie’s Revenge and Du Lala’s Promotions that glamorize the world of the protagonists. These productions, no longer documentaries of real people, instead embody worlds that many audiences wish to live in. Are they a reflection of our material pursuits? I don’t really know, but I think that like Guo himself said, they’re only the backdrops to the stories. In the end, the first Tiny Times is really just a funny, sweet, and exciting tale of the importance of friendship with a lot of eyecandy.